Four Philly-Area Macy’s to Close in Early Spring

Macys

It’s official: Four regional Macy’s stores will shut their doors for good this spring. On the chopping block are the stores at Plymouth Meeting Mall, Moorestown Mall, Bensalem’s Neshaminy Mall, and Voorhees Town Center. A total of 347 employees will lose their jobs.

The chain reported poor sales this season as consumers opted to shop on their smartphones and tablets. For November and December, the retail giant’s sales fell about 2 percent on a comparable store basis from 2015. Retailers like Amazon, with its Prime delivery and expansive warehouses, continue to eat away at Macy’s market share.

“We are closing down locations that are unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape, as well as monetizing locations with highly valued real estate,” Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said in a release. Read more »

Legoland To Become 4th Anchor at Plymouth Meeting Mall

Plymouth Elementary School first grade students celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Legoland Discovery Center at Plymouth Meeting Mall by playing in a pile of more than 50,000 Lego bricks spilled by a dump truck at the Oct. 25 ceremony. | Photo courtesy Legoland Discovery Center

Plymouth Elementary School first grade students celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Legoland Discovery Center at Plymouth Meeting Mall by playing in a pile of more than 50,000 Lego bricks spilled by a dump truck at the Oct. 25 ceremony. | Photo courtesy Legoland Discovery Center

Officials of Legoland Discovery Center, Plymouth Township, Montgomery County and Visit Philadelphia joined a passel of first-graders from nearby Plymouth Elementary School in digging into a pile of 50,000 Lego bricks delivered by dump truck for a ceremonial groundbreaking yesterday (Tuesday, Oct. 25).

The educational play center for children ages 2 through 12 will be the 17th worldwide, the ninth in the United States and the only one in Pennsylvania, at least for now.

Michael Taylor, general manager of Legoland Discovery Center Philadelphia, said the facility will contain all the familiar elements that have made the indoor playgrounds popular with children and parents alike, along with some new features unique to the Philadelphia location. Read more »

PREIT Sells Off “Lower Productivity” Malls

Lycoming Mall | Google Maps

Lycoming Mall | Google Maps

PREIT, the Philly-based real estate trust that specializes in owning and operating shopping malls, announced today it has sold four of its underperforming malls, allowing the company to better focus on managing its prime locations.

Joseph Coradino, PREIT’s CEO, told the Wall Street Journal the newly shed malls had high vacancy rates and low sales per square foot, hurting the company’s overall brand. “If we were a car dealership, it would be like putting all our worst vehicles in front,” he told the paper. “The Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and Ferraris were being covered over by a bunch of junkers.” Read more »

Beyond the Gallery: Developers Snap up Three Properties on Market East

The Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia

The Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia

There’s an interesting wrinkle to the redevelopment of The Gallery at Market East into the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia. PREIT and Macerich, the partnership developing the future outlet mall, have also purchased three properties across the street from the current downtrodden shopping center.

According to a report from The Inquirer’s Jacob Adelman, Joseph Coradino, PREIT’s cheif executive, said the plan is to find new tenants for these storefronts after the retailers at the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia have been selected. They could be used to lure businesses who might not fit the plans of new shopping center, but want to be in and around the action. Remember, the East Market project is bringing apartments and gobs of retail to 11th and Market in the not-too-distant future–so there should be plenty of action in the coming years.

The Inky found out through city records that the pair bought the properties between 1010 and 1024 Market Street, which includes the wave-like Robinson department store building, under multiple (and difficult to identify) names in November 2014 for a combined $17.24 million.

Read more »

Market East: Gallery Rehab Won’t Be Finished Until at Least 2018

The Gallery - under renovation

The Gallery under renovation earlier this year. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

The Gallery won’t re-open as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia anytime soon.

Macerich and Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, who are co-developing the transformation of the mall, say the project won’t be finished until 2018 or 2019 now. The news was first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer; Macerich VP Robert Perlmutter revealed the news in a conference call with analysts last week.

The Gallery, originally hailed as generator of urban rebirth, had lost its anchor tenants in recent years, and storefronts on upper floors were generally vacant. Though the mall still had a lot of foot traffic and generated respectable sales per square foot, its reputation, quite frankly, stunk.

The eastern half of the mall is closed; the western half (Gallery II) is slowly clearing out for redevelopment. When that’s done, PREIT and Macerich will rehab it into the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia at Market East. Read more »

PREIT Selling Two Center City Properties As Part of Fund-Raising Strategy

preit

1501 Walnut

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, the publicly traded trust that operates in the ownership of shopping malls and retail properties, is selling off five properties, including two in Center City.

This is part of PREIT’s strategy to sell off properties that don’t perform as well in order to raise money for more high profile ventures, according to philly.com’s Jacob Adelman.

“[PREIT] is concentrating its resources on malls with good locations in affluent areas and other competitive advantages,” Coradino said of the sales, after a presentation to investors.

One of the Center City buildings is at 1501-05 Walnut St., the building that PREIT agreed to house an AT&T store in back in June, essentially creating a “Cell Phone Alley” with the mega Verizon store in the glassy building at 1430 Walnut Street.

At the time, it was lauded as a transaction that was “representative of PREIT’s dominance in and significant knowledge of the retail landscape in Philadelphia” by Coradino. The AT&T store is still under construction.

Read more »

Ron Rubin Steps Down as PREIT Executive Chairman

Ron Rubin in 2013 (Photo by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan/Sipa USA)

Ron Rubin in 2013 (Photo by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan/Sipa USA)

Ron Rubin — whom we once dubbed as “the man responsible for building every mall ever” — is stepping down as the executive chairman at PREIT.

He’ll stay on as chairman of the board, however, the company announced.

Sure, it’s an exaggeration to say Rubin is responsible for “every mall ever,” but PREIT — where Rubin became CEO in 1997 — does operate 27 million square feet of retail space across the eastern half of the United States, most of it in shopping malls. And a 2009 Philly Mag profile credited Rubin with helping create modern Philadelphia: Read more »

Legoland Discovery Center Coming to Plymouth Meeting Mall

Image via PREIT

Image via PREIT

Philadelphia’s only Legoland Discovery Center is slated to open in spring 2017 at the Plymouth Meeting Mall, Pennsylvania Real Estate Trust (PREIT) announced today in a press release.

Merlin Entertainment plc will operate the 33,000-square-foot dreamland of young (and old) Master Builders everywhere. “The Legoland Discovery Centers have been a huge success across the globe, particularly as an opportunity for adults and children to spend fun, quality time together,” said John Jakobsen, Chief New Openings Officer, Merlin Entertainments plc, in a press release. “Plymouth Meeting Mall is the ideal location for the attraction as the mall is already a favored destination for Pennsylvania families and tourists from the region.”

Construction is expected to begin in in summer 2016, and it will have a prime position on the south side of the mall, which faces the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Read more »

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