Officials from SEPTA and PATCO confirmed today that PREIT plans to shut down the eastern half of the Gallery mall on October 2nd, as the developer commences with the first phase of its $325 million vision that will eventually see it become the glossy Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia.
Jeff Gammage of The Inquirer reports that PREIT notified both SEPTA and PATCO officials of the announcement today via hand-delivered letter, which outlined the PREIT’s plan: “The first stage of demolition at the three-block mall will take place between Eighth and 10th Streets. A barricade will block access to the east, and to the stairs and escalator at 10th, which now usher people up to ground level at Market Street.”
The second phase includes work on the western portion of the mall to 11th Street, and is anticipated to begin in 2016.
So, will it be a long, cold winter for the thousands of commuters who prefer to make their way to and from Center City through the warm concourse of The Gallery?
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Is a residential component coming to 9th and Market? | Rendering; PREIT
What a weekend! But the fireworks aren’t over as starting off this Monday’s headlines are two of the retail variety: Delaware County’s Granite Run Mall and Philly’s upcoming Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia.
First up, the Granite Run Mall in Media, which the Daily Times reports is now totally vacant, save for anchors Boscov’s and Sears. The last of its former 125 retail tenants shut down last week in the face of ending leases and to follow is a demolition expected “as early as this fall, according to Michael Markman, president of BET Investments Inc.” BET, which acquired the mall for over $24 million last year, is looking to redevelop the property for a purported $20 million.
So what’s to happen with the 58-acre site? Per the Daily Times, BET envisions it becoming a “walkable, outdoor town center” with retail (including the current anchors), restaurant, residential, and entertainment amenities. The plan would happen over two phases. The Media Borough Council will review the preliminary land development plan for the project Monday, July 27.
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Following City Council’s approval of six ordinances and one resolution regarding the Gallery makeover yesterday, Mayor Nutter went on to sign off on the legislation, essentially pushing the mall’s redevelopment closer to reality than before. With the $325 million project clearing all the city’s hoops, the long-awaited redevelopment is officially a go.
PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino called the day “a defining [one] for PREIT and retail in Philadelphia, as the transformation of the Gallery, an effort 12 years in the making, has taken a major step forward,” according to PR Newswire.
Part of the legislation that went through was a $55.0 million Tax Increment Financing deal, which the Inquirer’s Jeff Gammage reports backers consider fair since the city “failed to make required maintenance and improvement payments to the mall and because the investment will bring new retail properties, jobs, and revenue to the city.”
Demolition looks to be starting in August, with the Gallery set to close its doors in two phases. Construction is set to last for two years. A grand opening is expected in 2017.
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Rendering via PREIT
Go ahead and double- or triple-circle June 18 on your calendar, especially if you have any interest in the major renovations planned by PREIT and Macerich at The Gallery (Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia). Why? The Daily News reports that the package of legislation was passed by a City Council committee yesterday and full City Council vote is expected in two weeks. Here is what the committee approved:
- $55 million tax break (TIF) for the developers
- At least a $12/hr minimum wage for employees of the developers and their subcontractors (Ex. security, janitorial and maintenance workers)
- Note: This is not a requirement for retail workers
- City residents would get the first opportunities for employment at the mall
- The right for kiosk vendors displaced by construction to relocate within the completed mall
Though he wouldn’t go as far as to say they’ve crossed the finish line, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger didn’t pull any punches when talking about the approval by the committee: “This is one of the quietest, most momentous days in Philadelphia real estate history.”
Hey, Philly! Let’s Steal This Idea:
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Photo: Jeff Fusco
We’re back with an update from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) again, where a few major projects in the Philadelphia area got the thumbs up (at least partially, in most instances) for grants aimed “to attract and retain jobs in Pennsylvania by targeting large, economically transformative projects for development,” according to the RACP website.
EB Realty Management Corp. was granted $3.5 million of the $5 million for activation of the Arcade at the Divine Lorraine Hotel. Liberty Property Trust landed $10 million for “infrastructure costs related to” the in-progress Comcast Innovation and Technology Center. The Philadelphia Museum of Art $5 million for “infrastructure renovations and improvements.” The two behemoths on Market East, East Market (Girard Square) and the The Gallery, were awarded $2.5 million, respectively. $3.7 million went to the development of the Chinatown Community Center, also known as the Eastern Tower Community Center.
For a look at some of the major projects that did, and didn’t, make the cut (they can re-apply), check out Joe DiStefano’s column in The Inquirer below.
More Headlines to Make Your Monday Special:
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This is the last time we’ll run this photo. Promise. | Photos by Jeff Fusco.
1. Anthony Williams a no-show at Democratic post-election unity breakfast to rally behind mayoral nominee Jim Kenney.
The gist: State Senator Anthony Williams was a no-show at a let’s-all-hug breakfast organized by party boss Bob Brady on behalf of Jim Kenney yesterday morning, Chris Brennan reports for the Inquirer. The entire point of the breakfast — which Brady graciously also hosted in 2007, when he was defeated by Michael Nutter — is to set aside any lingering hard feelings from the election (publicly, anyway), and make a show of backing the party’s nominee. Most of the breakfast attendees were Democratic ward leaders. Williams, in addition to being the (distant) 2nd place finisher in last week’s mayoral election, is a ward leader.
So where was he? Williams told Brennan that “he did not know about the breakfast meeting, received no invitation, and had no plans ‘to crash the party.'” That seems … dubious. Kenney shrugged it off. He told Brennan: “People take some time off … I assume that’s what it is, and I wish him well with the time he’s taking off to recharge and get back in the game.” Read more »
Image via Google Street View
The Superfresh in Society Hill is near and dear to the hearts of nearby residents. So, it’s probably a safe bet that near-neighbors will be paying close attention to whatever the future holds for the current site near 5th and Pine. Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal reports, “Alterra Property Group is in the preliminary stages of a proposal to construct a mixed-use development on a Society Hill property that now houses a Superfresh.”
It’s still early in the process (Alterra has the property under agreement), but Kostelni says that preliminary plans are to demolish the single-story building in favor for a larger, mixed-use apartment complex with “between 12,000 and 18,000 square feet of retail space.” Superfresh has a lease at the site until 2018. Lee Addimando, co-owner of Alterra, tells Kostelni, “we would love to try to bring back a grocery store.”
In Other News:
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Is that The Gallery? No. It’s the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia | Images courtesy of PREIT
It’s going to be a busy meeting today for the monthly Planning Commission meeting at 1515 Arch Street, with no less than four mega projects on the agenda for review. The list includes (among others): a review of the plans for The Gallery/Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia; the proposed purchase of land for a prison in the Northeast; the re-zoning of the block for the townhome project at the former Mt. Sinai Hospital in Pennsport/Dickinson Square West and also the acquisition of 0.8-acre parcel known as the Viaduct for The Rail Park. The meeting starts at 1 p.m.
The city recently proposed legislation that would give developers PREIT and Macerich $175 million over 43 years for “construction, maintenance and operating cost” for the newly created public space at the revamped mall, according to Jacob Adelman of The Inquirer.
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We just love highlighting all the big-time developments in this city. Hell, we devoted almost an entire issue to the “New Boom” back in March. But how do projects like the W Hotel, East Market The Gallery, the SLS International Hotel & Residences and even the Divine Lorraine get funded? A decent amount of it oftentimes comes from matching funds from the state in the form of Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). In fact, Joe DiStefano of The Inquirer reports that “developers, corporations, colleges, hospitals and towns” have requested over $1 billion in funds from the state. Last year, Gov. Tom Corbett saw $1.1 billion in requests, but only “funded $207 million of projects.”
Philly alone at 66 requests, some goodies from this year include:
Highlights from the ‘burbs include:
DiStefano reports that Gov. Tom Wolf is actually seeking more requests for RACP funding. Check out the full list at the link below.
Developers ask Penna. for $1 billion+ [The Inquirer]
More Headlines For Your Enjoyment!
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A look at the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia. | Image courtesy PREIT.
PREIT finally released its renderings for The Gallery, and they are shiny visions of glass and gleaming white tiles and flashy digital signage. But underneath the high-shine veneer, what are we really getting?
First, there’s a name change. The Gallery — which has long since shed its identity as the key retail hub of the city — will be known as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia. The name speaks to one of the issues Philly faces in nabbing prime national retailers: They’ll come, but only in off-price, discount form (see: Nordstrom Rack and, most likely, Bloomingdale’s). Read more »