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 JOHNSTOWN, Pa., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Crown American Realty Trust (NYSE: CWN) and Crown American Associates announced today that as part of an ongoing expansion program with Sears Merchandise Group three Sears stores in Crown American malls will be renovated and expanded, adding more than 42,000 square feet of floor space for apparel and other merchandise. The cost of the three projects will total $5.2 million for Crown American.
 The three malls, all in Pennsylvania, are Lycoming Mall in Williamsport, Wyoming Valley Mall in Wilkes-Barre and Capital City Mall in Camp Hill (Harrisburg). Wyoming Valley Mall is jointly owned by Crown American Associates and First Union Real Estate Equity and Mortgage Investments.
 "The expansion of the three Sears stores not only reaffirms Sears' commitment to Crown American in general and those locations in particular, but also reflects the strong sales performance in those communities," said Frank Pasquerilla, Crown American chairman and chief executive officer.
 This initiative is part of Sears' five-year plan to upgrade and re-merchandise 500 stores over the next three years. Work on all three stores is expected to begin in early 1994 and be completed in time for back-to-school shopping in late summer.
 Among the renovations to the three stores will be new softer lighting to enhance apparel presentation, new pastel colorations and new floor treatments. The changes will be most noticeable in the apparel areas to convey the "softer side of Sears" advertising message and that Sears provides value-priced fashions and accessories for the entire family.
 The Sears in Lycoming Mall will have 28,000 square feet added to the 102,500-square-foot existing store. Sears anchors the 824,000-square-foot Lycoming Mall along with The Bon Ton, Hess's, JCPenney and Value City. Crown American opened the mall in 1978. In the past seven years the mall has had two anchor tenants added and an interior renovation.
 In Capital City Mall, Crown American will be converting 7,000 square feet of stockroom space into retail space. Sears occupies 99,500 square feet in Capital City Mall. Crown American opened Capital City Mall in 1971. In 1991, the approximately 600,000-square-foot mall was renovated and a Food Court was added. In addition to Sears, Capital City Mall is anchored by Hess's and Ames.
 The 117,000-square-foot Sears in Wyoming Valley Mall will have 8,000 square feet of stockroom space converted into retail space. Crown American opened the approximately 928,000-square-foot Wyoming Valley Mall in 1971. JCPenney, The Bon Ton and Hess's also anchor the facility.
 Recently, Crown American completed the expansion of two additional Sears locations in Viewmont Mall (Scranton, Pa.) and Francis Scott Key Mall (Frederick, Md.). Negotiations on the three Sears projects have been completed. Final documentation should be concluded within a few weeks. Three more Sears stores are scheduled to be expanded in 1995. With stores in 18 locations, Crown American is one of Sears' largest landlords.
 Crown American Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust, is the managing general partner of Crown American Properties, L.P., which owns, acquires, operates and develops regional shopping malls. The current portfolio includes 23 regional malls in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Tennessee and Georgia.
 -0- 11/2/93
 /CONTACT: media, Christine Menna of Crown American, 814-536-9520, or Gordon Jones of Sears Merchandise Group, 708-286-4726; or investors, Frank Pasquerilla, chairman and CEO, or Mark Pasquerilla, president, of Crown American, 814-535-9364/
 (CWN S)

CO: Crown American Realty Trust; Sears Merchandise Group; Crown
 American Associates; First Union Real Estate Equity and Mortgage
 Investments ST: Pennsylvania IN: REA SU:

DM-SB -- PG015 -- 9737 11/02/93 14:56 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 2, 1993

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