Jo-Ann Fabric opening Crown Center store

Photo of Rick Shrum
By Rick Shrum
Business reporter

Jo-Ann will become part of the fabric of Washington Crown Center.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, owner and operator of Crown Center, confirmed Monday that a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store will open in 2014 in the North Franklin Township mall.

“We have a fully executed agreement with Jo-Ann and anticipate a July opening,” said Joy Weidel, group marketing director for Preit, which had listed the pending opening on its website,

This Jo-Ann will occupy 15,900 square feet, but will not be a Jo-Ann superstore, which, like the one at Robinson Town Centre, typically has 36,000 square feet.

Weidel said she did not know whether Jo-Ann is relocating to Crown Center from Washington Mall, as has been speculated, or is opening a second store near Washington.

Beth Shivak, manager of corporate communications for the Hudson, Ohio-based company, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Crown Center debuted in 1969 as Franklin Mall, was redeveloped in the late ’90s, then reopened under its current name in 1999. It is undergoing change again, with the inclusion and pending inclusion of at least three big stores.

Marshalls, a fashion and home goods retailer, opened Oct. 10 with 24,000 square feet. Six weeks ago, Crown Center announced that Ross Dress for Less – an off-price department store – will open this year with 25,000 square feet. And now Jo-Ann.

Space has been provided by the departure of several leaseholders. The Rev. Bob Baker, pastor of Victory Church, and Hilary Veltri, co-owner of Veltri Fitness, told the Observer-Reporter that the mall terminated their leases. Victory’s last day there was Aug. 31 and Veltri’s was Feb. 21.

Philadelphia-based Preit owns and operates 37 enclosed malls in 12 states, including 17 in Pennsylvania. Uniontown Mall and Beaver Valley Mall are Preit properties.

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