YOUNGSTOWN Landlord to seize Pangio's building
The former grocery store owners still are looking for a tenant to take over their location.
By DON SHILLING
VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR
YOUNGSTOWN -- The owner of the Mahoning Plaza obtained a court order to seize the property of the former Pangio's Foodland because the store owes $231,000 in rent.
The Schreiber Co.-Mahoning Plaza, the Pittsburgh-based landlord, obtained a judgment for that amount Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Robert Lisotto issued a court order Wednesday directing the county sheriff to padlock the store, which closed May 31.
What order says: The order says store owners are not allowed to remove anything of value because any store assets will be applied to the amount owed to the landlord. The order says assets include personal property, accounts, cash equivalents, money orders, equipment, fixtures and inventory.
Two brothers, Dan and Ron Pangio, and their sister, Linda Illes, have been working in the store since they were children and took over the store when their father, Dan, died five years ago.
They closed the store because of declining business, but their lease runs until April 30, 2004.
The Pangios said when closing the store that they were responsible for the remaining payments on the lease, which are about $5,000 a month.
Ron Pagio said Wednesday that he didn't want to comment on the court action because he hadn't seen it.
He said, however, that family members are trying to find a business willing to move into their former store. There has been some interest, but no one has committed, he said.
"We're trying to stay confident to see if we can get through this," he said.
Dan Pangio Sr. opened his first store in Niles in 1979 but moved it to the plaza in 1982.
Store's struggles: His children said in May that the store had struggled in recent years after major retailers, such as J.C. Penney and Rite Aid, left the plaza.
They said they didn't have the money to remodel the store as larger grocery chains have done by adding other services, such as dry cleaning and nurseries.
They said they also were hit with higher expenses, such as utility costs, health insurance and workers' compensation premiums.