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.


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Brownfield Development Revives Hope For Hazelwood

Locator map with the Hazlwood neighborhood in ...

Locator map with the Hazlwood neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hazelwood leaders don’t want the neighborhood to find itself on the wrong side of the railroad tracks separating it from the former LTV Steel Co. site along the Monongahela River.

If a $1 billion investment goes as planned, the sprawling brownfield site would become home to offices, housing, retailers and light industry.

As large machines prepare the 178 acres for development, groups such as the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, Hazelwood Initiative and ACTION-Housing Inc. are working to prepare the distressed neighborhood for growth.

“We don’t want people to just stay on the LTV site. We want them to get into the neighborhood,” said Councilman Corey O’Connor, who represents Hazelwood, where LTV had the city’s last operating steel mill.

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Bethlehem Approves $10 Million To Improve Old Steel Plant

The Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority approved this week a $10 million bond that will help pay for the next round of infrastructure projects for redeveloping Bethlehem Steel property.

The projects include hundreds of new paved parking spots and an elevated walkway on what was once known as the Hoover Mason Trestle. The century-old trestle was used by Steel to move fuel from the ore yard, where the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem sits, to the blast furnaces, which is now the backdrop for indoor and outdoor concerts at SteelStacks.

“We want to make sure the investment we make is both strategic and relevant enough that it will stimulate additional development on the site,” said Tony Hanna, executive director of the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority.

The project totals nearly $16 million worth of improvements and a second bond is expected to be taken out next year.

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Braddock Redevelopment Project To Fill Gaping Hole Left By UPMC Demolition

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Image via Wikipedia

Braddock Mayor John Fetterman calls the planned redevelopment of the former UPMC Braddock site “an engine to drive the area forward.”

The $20 million project, announced at a news conference last week, is planned to include office and retail space, 24 units of rental housing, 11 single-family homes and a 20,000-square-foot community park facing Braddock Avenue.

Mr. Fetterman said the stretch of Braddock Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets, where the hospital used to stand, has been a “giant, empty, gaping wound on the streetscape” for the past two years.

He said the borough currently lacks viable spaces for businesses to move into, but the new building “will go a long way toward solving that.”

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$10 Million Redevelopment Project Slated For York

A $10 million redevelopment plan in York that has a direct link to Reading gained momentum on Wednesday with the purchase of a 47,000-square-foot building by a partnership that includes three members of the rock group Live and real estate developer Bill Hynes.

Think Spot Development of Lancaster, which includes Hynes and Live members Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer and Chad Gracey, bought the structure at 210-236 York St. in York from Molt LLC, according to Hynes.

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Developer Unveils $50 Million Office Complex In Center City Allentown

A developer on Wednesday unveiled detailed plans for a $50 million office complex that would include a 570-space underground parking garage and could attract more than 700 mostly white-collar office workers to downtown Allentown.

One City Center, to be built by J.B. Reilly on a Seventh Street parking lot south of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, is billed as the first phase of a plan that will bring thousands of new workers and hundreds of new upscale homes and apartments into Allentown’s struggling downtown.

City officials hope it will be followed by a parade of development piggy-backing on a 130-acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone created to finance the downtown hockey arena.

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Allentown’s $100 Million Hockey Arena Complex

Scan of 1974 slide of Hamilton Mall, Allentown...

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When Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski looks down Hamilton Street, he envisions thousands of hockey fans pouring out of a $100 million arena and into a downtown entertainment district of sports bars, restaurants and retail shops.

While it may take imagination to visualize such a scene in Allentown’s struggling downtown now, Pawlowski on Tuesday brought some clarity to how the city plans to get there when he released the first designs for the arena, which alone is projected to draw 500,000 people downtown each year.

The first architectural renderings oshow a glass and steel, two-story entrance at Hamilton and Seventh streets, transitioning into a row of new places to eat, drink and shop extending down the 700 block of Hamilton Street. For Pawlowski, the shiny new arena, on track to open in 2013, is a first step toward a much larger development he’s counting on to create a new Allentown.

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