Gallery Redeveloper PREIT May Consider Merger

CEO Joseph Coradino indicated that the company may be open to consolidation.

The escalators and main atrium of The Gallery in Center City, which is owned by PREIT and is currently under construction.

Photo | Dan McQuade

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, or PREIT, recently indicated that it may be interested in merging with another shopping-mall operator, according to the Inquirer.

PREIT — which owns the Cherry Hill and Exton Square malls, among others — is a major partner in the $325 million redevelopment of The Gallery in Center City. While chief executive Joseph Coradino didn’t comment on whether a consolidation would affect the work on The Gallery, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority told the Inquirer that the agreement with the city would bind any company that bought out PREIT to complete the work. Construction on The Gallery, which will be called, “The Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia,” is expected to be completed in 2018.

The merger — if it were to happen — would come at a time when most physical shopping spaces have struggled to compete with online retail. A growing number of malls have been bought out across the country. PREIT’s relative success might make it more appealing to potential buyers, according to the Inquirer.