Millcreek Mall Suing State Officials to Reopen
This afternoon, the owners of Millcreek Mall (Cafaro-Peachcreek Joint Venture Partnership) filed suit in federal court against Thomas W. Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Rachel Levine, the Commonwealth’s Secretary of the Department of Health, seeking to reopen the mall. The suit demands that the mall be permitted to operate and prohibiting the defendants, Wolf and Levine, from continuing to restrict the mall in an arbitrary and capricious manner. A copy of the Complaint is available at https://cloud.cafarocompany.com/s/MiXfbEyHXfmC4n6
On March 16, 2020, the state ordered the mall to close in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. On May 8, most retailers in Erie County were permitted to reopen. However, Millcreek Mall did not enjoy that opportunity because the state deemed that “enclosed malls” were not eligible to reopen while the county remained in the “Yellow Phase” of Governor Wolf’s reopening plan. Only those retail businesses with exterior entrances have been able to operate. This is a financially disastrous situation for those businesses only accessible from the mall’s interior concourse.
This arbitrary decision by the state flies in the face of all logic, reason and fairness. More importantly, it violates the mall’s rights under the Equal Protection and Due Process provisions of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. To date, state officials have failed to provide an explanation for these onerous restrictions. While other counties with higher COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations have been able to move into the “Green Phase”, Erie County has not.
Preparations have been underway to reopen Millcreek Mall in accordance with all the other public health procedures other businesses are employing. It is time for the state to cease this ill-conceived and unconstitutional oppression of honest, hardworking, taxpaying citizens of the Commonwealth.
The Millcreek Mall Complex is located on upper Peach Street and Interstate 79 in Millcreek Township, near Erie, Pennsylvania. It has been serving the region since 1975. Millcreek Mall Complex is owned and managed as part of the Cafaro family of companies, based in Niles, Ohio. To learn more about the Cafaro organization, go to www.cafarocompany.com.