Local News

JCPenny will leave Diamond Run Mall

RUTLAND TOWN – Rutland city will lose money and at least 30 locals will lose their jobs come April, when J.C. Penney will leave the Diamond Run Mall.
According to Rutland Alderman Ed Larson Wednesday: “In a lengthy telephone conversation with J.C. Penney Corporate, they advised that April 5 is the closing date. They also indicated that they will provide… workshops for employees to be affected by the closure to assist in transitions to other employment. That severence pay will be provided to those who are entitled to such (full time employees). They indicated that the current employees will be offered positions at the Berlin Mall Store, if there are openings as well. According to Corporate, the closing will impact some 30 to 35 employees, which differs from what the local manager indicated to me. This is just an update to keep you informed. I was informed that the decision was based on store performance over a several year span. Please share this with others.”
The closure would mean the second of three anchor stores in the mall would be gone. Sears announced its recent closure in August of last year.
To Rutland city, with a contractual agreement with mall operators called the Zamias Fund, that means another loss to its coffers.
According to Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras, the mall is required to pay Rutland $100,000 a year to defer any loss to downtown businesses. The money goes into a fund called the Zamias Fund.
“With the announcement that Sears is closing in the Diamond Run Mall, there have been inquiries made regarding the impact on the $100,000 annual payment made to the City’s Zamias Fund,” Louras wrote on social media in August.
“Because Sears makes up 36 percent of the 3 (three) anchor stores’ square footage (Sears=36% of anchor sqft; KMart=41.5% of sqft; JCPenney=22.5% of sqft), the annual payment will be reduced to $64,000. The resulting deferred final payment (equalling $36,000 per year between now and 2019) will be payable to the City in 2022.”
In accordance with that formula, the city’s annual payment will go down even further – to $41,000 – this year because of the J.C. Penney closure, but a payout to make up for the annual losses is expected in 2022 if the mall doesn’t fill the space again.
Dave Allaire, president of the Board of Aldermen in Rutland, is running for mayor this March.
On Wednesday he wrote, “According to reports, we are losing another longstanding business in the Rutland region.JC Penney to close in April at the Diamond Run Mall. Sears, Aubuchon Hardware,Ladabouche Furniture, the list goes on and on. Our region cannot sustain these continuous losses. Where’s the plan?
It’s time for a change in leadership.”


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