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

The Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia at Market East won't be opening anytime soon, but developers are still confident about the project.

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.

The delay, the developers said, was due to a longer-than-expected he pre-development process, including getting pre-leasing commitments from retailers. The Fashion Outlets are expected to bring in higher-end stores than what was previously in the gallery, though they will consist of discounters. The renovation is expected to cost $325 million.

The Inquirer said the deal with the city allows the developers to open the mall as late as June 2020.