Gallery owner likely looking at 'fast fashion,' food

A high-end department store has not been found to move into the Gallery. The Kmart space may be broken up into smaller stores.
A high-end department store has not been found to move into the Gallery. The Kmart space may be broken up into smaller stores. (ED HILLE / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 21, 2014

It seems like Plan B for the Gallery.

The Center City mall's owners have apparently been unable to land high-end department stores to anchor their reimagining of the aging shopping center on Market Street.

In an earnings call Wednesday, Joseph Coradino, chief executive officer for Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), said the company had ruled out "traditional fashion department store" anchors, one of two directions it was considering for the property.

Rather, PREIT seems focused on what in July Coradino called "fast fashion and food."

He said at the time, "That is to redevelop it more consistent with some of the more trendy suburban mall tenants - like the Forever 21, the H&M, the Uniqlo, as well as restaurants and other food choices."

On Wednesday, Coradino told analysts that "food will be an important component" of the plan, as will fashion. "It will be a fashion destination," he said.

PREIT has been signaling major changes for the Gallery for a while, but its timetable may have accelerated with an announcement last month that the Kmart store would close in April, opening that space months sooner than expected.

Coradino has said that PREIT does not expect to replace Kmart with a single anchor, but will break the space up into smaller stores.

On Wednesday, Coradino said that remaking the Gallery was one of the key goals of the company for the coming year. With that in mind, PREIT was seeking public financing and possibly a private partner for the project.

In discussions with the city and other Center City stakeholders, PREIT has suggested it has ambitious plans for the 1970s-era mall, including opening street-level caf├ęs and retail shops out onto Market Street.


chepp@phillynews.com

215-854-2594

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