An outpost of the New York-based trendy burger chain Shake Shack opened at the King of Prussia Mall last year — with a solar panel-covered roof.
Since 2007, 400 malls in the U.S. have closed. Now comes the filing of bankruptcy protection from both Quiznos and Sbarro, and that’s after the partial demise of mall anchor tenants like JC Penney and Sears. From Yahoo Finance:
A decade ago there were more than 1,100 enclosed shopping malls in the U.S. Since then more than 400 have either been “re-purposed” or closed outright. No new malls have been completed since at least 2009.
Onetime mall devotees like Shoppist editor Emily Goulet are now mall escapees. Of the Oxford Valley Mall, she writes:
It’s dirty. It’s depressing. …The quality of stores has gone down, way down… The stores that remain need a facelift, too. Dressing rooms are in desperate need of a paint job, racks are horrifically disorganized, and everyone just looks like they want to go home. Even the clothes, which sag limply from hangers and hang off the arms of chipped mannequins that look like they’re from about 1987.
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Detail from a photo from labelscar.com
“It could be high-fashion, it could be Forever 21″ we reported last December of PREIT’s plans for the Gallery. Well, it appears the high-end road will not be taken anytime soon. Instead, the space of the soon-to-be-closed Kmart will more likely house stores of the latter variety, in addition to getting a strong food presence.
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The building on the northwest corner of 15th and Walnut once had an illustrious tenant: Louis I. Kahn, the celebrated modernist architect, had his office there. Today its tenants consist of three retail shops and a Pennsylvania lottery.
Buyer Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), which owns the Gallery, as well as many other malls, has not offered specifics about what will happen with the 14,000-square-foot property.
• PREIT buys 15th & Walnut corner [PhillyDeals]
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Bye Bye, Big K!
Photo courtesy of Google Street View
Yesterday morning, based on a tip from an employee, we broke the news that the Kmart at the Gallery was going to close. Today the Business Journal sounds another Kmart death knell: the location in the Northeast will close as well.
The Gallery location’s closure comes at the cost of 120 employees, who will still have their jobs when liquidation sales begin Sunday, February 9th. Even more to look forward to are PREIT’s choices for new retailers: Will they be high-end, or Forever 21?
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Screen shot of JCPenney at Exton Square Mall via Google Street View
JCPenney will be shutting down 33 of its department stores, one of which is located at the Exton Square Mall. However, it looks like the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), the mall’s current owner since 2003, is seeing this as a “when one door closes, another opens” moment.
PREIT has a strong track record in redevelopment of its malls (Cherry Hill, Moorestown, and perhaps, the Gallery?) so the soon-to-be-free 118,00-square-foot space will actually allow the company to re-envision Exton as a retail draw.
PREIT CEO Joseph Cordiano told the Philadelphia Business Journal:
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The mysterious game-changing redevelopment project PREIT has planned for the Gallery has become a little less elusive. Sort of. Since October, PREIT has dropped more hints about what “transformative” retailers will bring to Philadelphia’s retail scene. From the Inquirer:
“We anticipate delivering a project that is a focal point for the City of Philadelphia, drives the transformation of the retail landscape in the city and the evolution of the corridor into a vibrant shopping, entertainment, and dining district.”
Apparently, the positive impact East Market Street gets will come from one of two ways:
“One is a high-fashion anchor center utilizing one of the four high-fashion department stores. Another possible alternative is what we call ‘fast fashion and food,’ if you will, and that is to redevelop [the area] more consistent with some of the more trendy suburban mall tenants – like the Forever 21, the H&M, the Uniqlo.”
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Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) announced during an earnings call that the Moorestown Mall is getting another well known Philadelphia chef. Jose Garces will bring his third location of Distrito to the mall. Garces is joining Marc Vetri who is opening Osteria at the mall later this year. In addition to Osteria and Distrito, PREIT has landed Firebirds Wood Fired Grill as it seeks to add more draws to the South Jersey mall than just shopping. The Distrito announcement brings the number of spoken for liquor licenses to three. Moorestown, which had been a dry town, awarded PREIT four liquor licenses at the mall.
>More on Vetri’s Osteria project at the Moorestown Mall »
HughE Dillon over at PhillyChitChat says that the Bloomie’s folks have been here four times to look at the Burlington Coat Factory space, and the last time they brought lawyers and a design team.
Gallery owner PREIT did not return an official call for comment, though one person there said he didn’t know anything about it but that he wasn’t approved to comment. Dillon has a really reliable source, though, and the last tip he got from said source panned out exactly as predicted.
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As of yesterday, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) officially owns the Kmart at Ninth and Market–the one it paid $60 million for even though many area residents wouldn’t shop there regularly if you paid them $60 million to do so. (They’d be missing out on some serious bargains, however.)
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Moorestown Mall owner PREIT has announced it has a signed letter of intent with Marc Vetri to open a restaurant at the New Jersey mall. Michael Klein reports it would be a scaled down version of Osteria.
PREIT is attempting to upgrade the Moorestown mall by adding high-end dining destinations. Moorestown is a dry town and a November ballot measure would allow PREIT to purchase four liquor licenses for the mall at $1 million each (twice what a recent liquor license in Cherry Hill went for).
So in November will Moorestown voters be lured by the promise of prosciutto di parma topped pizzas and encouraged to vote to allow the mall to offer liquor? With the threat of rising property taxes or cuts to schools and local services, four liquor licenses for the mall seems an attractive option for creating revenue. Having a chef of Vetri’s status onboard is one heck of an ace-in-the-hole.
Vetri signs letter of intent for Moorestown Mall [The Insider]
Guaranteed Revenue [Courier Post]