Gallery Gets a New Name, Market East Could Still Get Eataly

This morning, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) and Macerich announced their grand new plans for the Gallery at Market East. The new mall will be called the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia and will feature lower-cost outlets of high-end retailers. The Gallery’s dead-to-the-outside exterior will also be revamped, opening the solid walls with glass fronts and sidewalk cafes.

Since 2013, Eataly, Mario Batali’s Italian wonderland of food and restaurants, has been rumored to be coming to Philadelphia and the location that keeps coming up is the former Strawbridges building at 8th and Market. The old department store is considered part of the Gallery project and despite Century 21’s recent opening on the second floor, the first floor remains vacant and available.

PREIT CEO, Joseph Coradino told the Inquirer today that they were “in discussions” with Eataly. Coradino also told James Jennings, editor of Philadelphia magazine’s Property site, that PREIT is working with a tenant to take the entire first floor of the Strawbridges building. Reading the tea leaves, it appears clear that PREIT is working to bring Eataly to Market East. And as Eataly’s Joe Bastianich told Michael Klein a month ago, Philadelphia is “definitely” on Eataly’s list of food cities for expansion.

An Eataly at 8th and Market would close the distance between the historic landmarks of Philadelphia and the Convention Center. Eataly itself would be a tourist destination, in easy access to the entire region via mass transit. It would indeed be a game changer.

5 questions with Joe Bastianich (including the one about Eataly) [The Insider]
The Secret Plans for The Gallery Have Finally Been Revealed [Property]
PREIT reveals the Gallery’s new look [The Inquirer]