The Laurel Mall’s partial reopening this weekend will bring almost 50% of its workforce back, the mall’s business operations manager says.
Rocco Arruzzo said stores will begin to reopen this weekend as Luzerne County shifts to the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 recovery and reopening plan.
“Dunham’s is opening Friday, Boscov’s Saturday and TJ Maxx by next Thursday,” Arruzzo said.
In order to comply with Wolf’s plans, Arruzzo said places like hair, nail and massage salons will remained closed and anything deemed recreational, like kid rides and play zones, will be roped off. Seating has also been rearranged to meet social distancing guidelines.
Stores without external entrances will open as they are able to meet CDC requirements. Restaurants will still be available for curbside takeouts only.
The reopenings will bring approximately 450 of the mall’s estimated 950 employees back by June 4.
Arruzzo reiterated what he said last week, that when the mall fully reopens, all of its tenants will return.
“With Hobby Lobby, the mall will be at exactly 95% occupancy,” Arruzzo said, with that new store still under construction.
On the other side of Hobby Lobby, in part of the former Kmart space, construction had been finished on Planet Fitness, and a grand opening was scheduled when the pandemic hit.
“Planet Fitness will probably open when the county goes green,” Arruzzo said.
A new store, Christopher & Banks, a women’s clothing store, is moving into the former Brackney Leather space at the northwest corner of the mall. Arruzzo said the leather clothing store is moving to another space near Boscov’s.
“Christopher & Banks will start construction within the next two weeks,” Arruzzo said. “With a two-week construction period, they should be open by July 1.”
Stores not part of the mall proper but on the property have been open, and more will reopen, Arruzzo said.
“Genevieve’s Deli will open next Wednesday at 10 a.m,” Arruzzo said.
The mall will have shorter hours until Luzerne County goes green.
It will be open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jim Dino is the business writer for The Standard-Speaker, Hazleton. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.