Lincoln Highway / US 30 and Harrisburg Pike
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The Red Rose City's only fully-enclosed, suburban shopping complex was built on a 108.5 acre site, located 2 miles northwest of center city Lancaster. PARK CITY CENTER encompassed 1,450,000 leasable square feet and eventually housed one hundred and five stores and services.

The complex consisted of a main retail level arranged in a criss-cross layout, with an anchor store at the end of each of its four wings. On the east was a 2-level (193,900 square foot) Gimbels, on the south, a 2-level (142,000 square foot), Lancaster-based Watt & Shand, on the west, a 2-level (244,000 square foot) J.C. Penney and on the north, a 2-level (158,000 square foot) Sears.

J.C. Penney became one of the first PARK CITY CENTER stores to open, on July 30, 1970. Watt & Shand began business in September. Inline stores held grand openings in early 1971, with the official dedication of the mall taking place in April of the same year. Gimbels' store made its debut in September 1971. The center was completed with the opening of Sears, in 1972.

Tenants on Level 2, the main mall floor, included Kinney Shoes, Thom McAn Shoes, Father & Son Shoes, Spencer Gifts, Orange Julius, Bavarian Pretzel Hut, Fifth Avenue Cards, Docktor Pet Center, National Shirt Shops, Hickory Farms of Ohio, Waldenbooks, Glah Brothers, Peoples Drug, Camelot Music, Cole's Books, Hamburger's men's wear, Barrels Whiskey & Rhyme Pub and an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

PARK CITY CENTER featured a subterranean freight service area beneath its octagonal Center Court. There was also a lower level of stores and attractions beneath its North and West Wings. Level 1 housed an ice rink (later a roller rink), a mini-golf course, kiddie ride amusement area, pinball arcade and the Century Park City Twin cinema.

Moreover, the studios for CBS-TV affiliate WLYH were on Level 1. Futuristic "TV pods" were located throughout the mall, which featured commercials, programming and live broadcasts on a closed circuit channel. The kiddie ride area, golf course and ice skating rink were gone by the mid-1970s. In their place, a Farmer's Market was established, which later evolved into a Flea Market.

PARK CITY CENTER was in the enviable position of being the only major suburban shopping center in Greater Lancaster. EAST TOWNE MALL (1970) {5.7 miles southeast, in Lancaster County} was a community-class strip plaza. LANCASTER SQUARE (1971-2008), an ill-fated center city urban renewal project, also provided no measurable competition for PARK CITY CENTER.

Large outlet-type retail complexes were built in the 1980s. LANCASTER OUTLET CITY {6.7 miles southeast, in Lancaster County} opened, with sixteen stores, in 1982. It was shuttered in 1992 and re-opened, as MILLSTREAM FACTORY SHOPS, in 1993. In 1994, it morphed into today's TANGER OUTLETS LANCASTER. ROCKVALE OUTLETS LANCASTER {8 miles southeast, also in Lancaster County} made its debut in 1986.

Anchor rebrandings commenced at PARK CITY CENTER in late 1986, with the shuttering of Gimbels. The store was sold to New York City-based Allied Stores. It re-opened, in January 1987, under Allied's Pomeroy's division. This store lasted only until December of the same year. It was shuttered, expanded to 219,000 square feet, and re-opened, as a Reading-based Boscov's, in April 1988.

The second PARK CITY CENTER anchor to change nameplates was Watt & Shand, which came under the York, Pennsylvania-based The Bon Ton banner in April 1992.

A face lift was done at PARK CITY CENTER in 1985. The Center Court fountain was removed. Likewise, soiled and threadbare indoor-outdoor carpeting in the mall's Level 2 concourses was replaced.

Level 1 was also remodeled. The Flea Market became a 1-level (90,000 square foot), Philadelphia-based Clover; a discount division of Philadelphia's Strawbridge & Clothier chain. Moreover, the area beneath the West Wing was rebuilt as a Food Court.

The Clover store lasted a little over 10 years. It was shuttered, with a Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based Kohl's opening in its space in September 1996. Soon after, Center Court at PARK CITY CENTER was remodeled again. As part of a 1 million dollar refurbishment, a twenty-two passenger carousel was installed in November 1997. It was removed in May 2004.

Chicago-based General Growth Properties had established 100 percent ownership of PARK CITY CENTER in May 2003. They embarked on a renovation of the property in October 2005. This entailed (yet) another refurbishment of Center Court and the installation of new floors and ceiling treatments throughout the complex.

The project was followed by a reconstruction of the southwest exterior of the shopping center. A ten-store lifestyle section was built, known as the Fountain Shoppes. This 13 million dollar Streetscape featured upscale tenants such as Williams-Sonoma, White House / Black Market, J. Jill, Aldo Shoes, Banana Republic and Sephora. Its first operational stores opened November 8, 2007, with the final tenants beginning business in May 2008.

At the same time, The Bon Ton store was renovated and expanded, with a 37,000 square foot addition to its west and south walls. The renewed (179,000 square foot) store held a grand re-opening October 8, 2008. With its completion, PARK CITY CENTER encompassed 1,433,000 leasable square feet and housed one hundred and seventy stores and services.

Brookfield Property Partners, based in Hamilton, Bermuda, acquired a share of General Growth Properties in 2016. In August 2018, Brookfield established 100 percent ownership of the corporation. Hence, PARK CITY CENTER became part of the Brookfield retail center portfolio.

As this transpired, The Bon Ton Stores conglomerate was being liquidated. The PARK CITY CENTER Bon Ton closed for good on August 29, 2018. Sears shuttered its circa-1972 store on March 10, 2019.


Malls of America Blogspot / Keith Milford, webmaster
Comment posts by "Pseudo3d" and "Skylar" (General Growth Properties)