Philadelphia’s Gallery Mall Is Ripe For Rebirth

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighti...

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighting Center City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Has the Gallery’s time finally come – again?

Thirty-seven years after the Center City mall broke new ground in urban retailing, the Market East shopping center is anything but cutting-edge. It is tired, mismatched to its surroundings, and a drag on the wider Center City boom.

Its owner, publicly traded Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, has promised to reverse that. Just how and when, however, has been a bit hazy.

Now, there is increasing evidence that a critical mass is building and that perhaps, as promised by PREIT chief executive officer Joseph Coradino, a transformative project is near.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140210_The_Gallery_mall_is_ripe_for_rebirth.html#uU7BTOvhCTStsI4z.99

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Brandywine To Build 47-Story FMC Tower In University City

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FMC Corp. has agreed to move its headquarters from 1745 Market St. in Center City into the new tower that Brandywine Realty Trust has been trying to build, NE corner of 30th and Walnut Sts. in University City, for the past 5 years. The $341 million FMC Tower will rise 47 stories — 650 feet — and include 575,000 sq ft of offices, 10,000 sq ft of retail — plus 260 apartments. Adjoins a 2,000-space parking garage built by Brandywine that also serves IRS workers at Brandywine’s former 30th St post office nearby.

FMC will move its headquarters staff — currently 546 bosses and workers — to the new tower by June 2016, spokesman Jim Fitzwater told me. FMC will lease 253,000 sq ft for 16 years; the University of Pennsylvania will rent another 100,000 sq ft on four floors for 20 years.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Brandywine-to-build-47-story-West-Philly-tower-FMC-a-tenant.html#w8IKD7yI7Ry0uc0p.99

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East Chestnut’s Revival Could Get Huge Boost From Big Project

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The way John Columbo saw it, East Chestnut Street in Center City was a ghetto. From 8th to 13th, the once-beautiful and bustling street brimmed with empty storefronts with graffitied windows and bottom-feeder businesses like dollar stores and check-cashing joints. Drug dealers jockeyed with street hustlers for sidewalk space.

It was the perfect place, he and his business partner Mike Lewis decided six years ago, for their gourmet cupcake bakery, Philly Cupcake. “You look at what everybody else is doing and do the opposite – place luxury right in the center of the ghetto,” Columbo said of their business philosophy.

While a few other brave merchants followed their lead, the changes weren’t always positive and a rebirth remained elusive, Columbo said. A sex shop moved in a few doors away and filled its storefront windows with space-age vibrators and near-naked mannequins to tempt passers-by. Farther east, some cheered the closure of the old Funk-o-Mart electronics store, only to see another dollar store move in.

“They want this to be Woolworth’s, and we’re trying to be more Chanel,” Columbo said of the battle to revitalize Chestnut Street.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131020_East_Chestnut_s_revival_could_get_huge_boost_from_big_project.html#V6VUDBO8eBGus08i.99

Urban Outfitters Adding 2,500 Jobs In Region

English: The Urban Outfitters store in Union S...

English: The Urban Outfitters store in Union Square, San Francisco. Español: El Urban Outfitters tienda en Union Square de San Francisco. Français : Le magasin Urban Outfitters à Union Square, San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Urban Outfitters, the iconic purveyor of hip clothing and housewares, is expanding its Philadelphia headquarters and adding a mail-order facility in Lancaster County.

The expansion will ultimately mean an additional 2,000 jobs in the city and another 500 in Gap, according to Richard Hayne, Urban Outfitter’s founder and chief executive officer.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131008_Urban_Outfitters_adding_2_500_jobs_in_region.html#p4YE8dbiq4ikygSP.99

Luxury Hotel Plans For Former Family Court Building In Philadelphia

Three groups of developers have pitched plans for converting the 72-year-old Family Court building at 18th and Vine Streets into a luxury hotel, raising expectations for another big investment in an area undergoing major change.

In plans submitted to the city Wednesday, each group was aligned with a hotel operator. They are:

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, teaming up with Logan Square Holdings, a limited partnership that counts the Goldenberg Group of Philadelphia among its five investors.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts, working with Philadelphia’s Dranoff Properties and HRI Properties of New Orleans.

Kimpton Hotels, aligned with P&A Associates of Philadelphia and the Peebles Corp. of New York City.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20130712_Luxury_hotel_plans_for_former_Family_Court_building.html#EzqJZI7qS9UW9jJb.99

Wynn Project Could Shake Up Philadelphia Waterfront

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where North Beach Street twists and turns into Richmond Avenue in Fishtown, the old William Cramp & Sons shipyard has been the envy of developers and dreamers alike.

It’s 60 open acres of Delaware River waterfront, a vast blank canvas.

And the man with all the paintbrushes is Las Vegas resort-and-casino developer Steve Wynn.

Two weeks ago, Wynn finally released his plan for developing the site. Local reaction has run hot and cold.

Everyone agrees that the Wynn project could be a game-changer for the waterfront, finally giving purpose to land that has been idle since after World War II.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20130407_Wynn_project_could_shake_up_Phila__waterfront.html#ixzz2Psv6Kxb7 
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Philadelphia’a Tioga Seection Sees A Turnaround As New Businesses Move Into Old Factory Sites

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

VERNA TYNER was 10 when her family moved to Venango Street in Tioga 40 years ago.

“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” Tyner said of her new home. “It was just a gorgeous, beautiful neighborhood. The lawns were manicured. The trees were trimmed.”

But as Tyner grew up, the neighborhood fell down.

Dozens of factories that dotted Tioga, Nicetown and Allegheny West began closing, putting thousands of people out of work.

Among them: the Budd Co., which made railcars and later automobile doors; Tasty Baking Co., maker of Tastykakes; and the Stanley Blacker suit factory.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20130311_Tioga_sees_a_turnaround_as_new_businesses_move_into_old_factory_sites.html#ixzz2NF9JpJfj 
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