Developer in talks to integrate a national chain of restaurants and stores | Community

Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania – A planned auction for the Columbia Mall didn’t go as hoped last month, but owner Christian Foust says he’s in talks with owners of Arby’s, Chipotle and Michael’s for properties in and around the mall.

The mall, now called Columbia Colonnade, was to be auctioned on in July, but this has been postponed to August 25.

Related Reading: Columbia Mall to Auction in July

Foust said the auction went ahead, but bidders fell short of the $20 million reserve he set, with the highest bidder at auction reaching just $16.9 million. He had received bids in excess of $20 million before the auction, he said.

“You never know,” he said. “I just wanted to see what an auction could bring.”

Foust is still in talks with other developers for the 34-acre site, but those aren’t the kinds of companies that are bidding on it, he said. It has also been in negotiations to incorporate a 15,000 square foot Michael’s craft store into the mall, he noted.

The large property and parking lot also make sense as a logistics hub, where businesses could use the building or space as a large warehouse, since it’s close to Interstate 80, Foust explained.

It’s not just the mall that’s in development, Foust noted. He owns property just outside the mall parking lot, including two one-acre plots between Burger King and Quaker Steak and Lube.

“I signed a ground lease for Arby’s on one lot and I’m working with a developer for the other lot, which will likely be a Chipotle,” Foust said.

If it’s not Chipotle, it’s probably Jersey Mike’s or Aspen Dental, Foust added.

Just down the road on State Route 42, Foust leveled dirt at a site near the Geisinger Clinic for a Hilton Home 2 Suites hotel. The proposed building would be a four-story, 84-room hotel that could accommodate long-term guests. This plan depends on knowing the layout of Geisinger’s new health complex he is building across the street, as freeway entrances and streetlights would have to be considered in hotel plans. , Foust said.

He’d also like to add a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts, though that also depends on Geisinger’s development.

He hopes to get hotel approval by spring 2023.

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