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Update: Gallery, outlets are prize in KofP owner's hostile bid for mall investor

King of Prussia, Mills owner Simon wants to buy Gallery renovator Macerich

UPDATE 3/13: Re King of Prussia malls and Philadelphia Mills owner Simon Property Group's attempted takeover of Deptford Mall owner and Gallery investor Macerich Co.: "Macerich's 52 million-sf portfolio of 51 regional and eight power centers is what Simon is after," writes Value Retail News' GlobalOutlet News Brief.

The Macerich- and taxpayer-funded conversion of Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust's 1.4 million-sf Gallery in downtown Philadelphia is the largest Macerich project currently in the works, GlobalOutlet noted. "In the past year, as Macerich geared up for more outlet development, the developer assembled a team of outlet specialists, even poaching leasing and marketing executives from Craig Realty Group, AWE Talisman and Helzberg Diamonds...Macerich's favored markets, those dense, urban areas, aren't seeing a decline in traffic."

EARLIER: If Simon Property Group, the Indianapolis firm that owns the biggest malls in Pennsylvania (King of Prussia) and Philadelphia (Philadelphia Mills), goes ahead with its hostile $16 billion offer to buy Macerich Cos. (which lately renovated Deptford Mall, and agreed to invest $107 million in PREIT's Gallery redevelopment in Center City, on condition the City of Philadelphia kicks in millions (more from Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger here), how will that affect the long-delayed Gallery plans?

PREIT has already moved most of the former Gallery businesses out of the indoor mall between 8th and 10th Sts. (other than newcomer department store Century 21; at least one smaller firm, Tiffany's Bakery, will relocate to the still-busy section of the Gallery near Septa's Jefferson Station). But Simon says it doesn't want all of Macerich's properties, and plans to sell some to General Growth Properties (they own Christiana Mall in Delaware, for example).

Will that stall the Gallery renovation? "We're not in a position to comment on this morning's announcement, except to say that it does not change either the plans or the schedule for the redevelopment of The Gallery,"  PREIT spokeswoman Heather Crowell reassured me, in an email statement. Simon declined to comment on its plans for Philadelphia if it is successful in taking over Macerich.