California-based Macerich Co., which owns 55 U.S. shopping centers including the Deptford Mall, will invest $106.8 million in a joint venture to redevelop the Gallery at Market East and offer "accessible luxury retailing" there, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, owner of the 1.4 million-square-foot Center City shopping complex, said Tuesday.

Century 21, a New York fashion chain, is remodeling space in the former Strawbridge & Clothier flagship store at the east end of the Gallery at Eighth and Market Streets, with an October opening planned that PREIT has said will help anchor the mall's renovation.

The Gallery location will be Century 21's first outside metropolitan New York City, where it has eight stores. The chain offers discounted designer clothing, housewares, cosmetics, shoes, luggage, and more.

Kmart shut its Gallery store earlier this year, making another two-story space available at the mall's 10th Street side.

In a Tuesday evening statement, PREIT said Macerich has experience leasing retail space "in dense, urban environments" - it has malls in Brooklyn and Queens in New York City. Macerich will acquire a 50 percent interest in the Gallery under terms of the deal. PREIT will invest with Macerich in Gallery improvements on a 50/50 basis.

In the statement, PREIT called the future improved Gallery "Philadelphia's only transit-oriented, retail anchored multiuse property offering accessible luxury retailing and artisan food experiences."

PREIT's chief executive officer, Joseph F. Coradino, said that Macerich would help make the Gallery "a one-of-a-kind, premier center," and predicted that Macerich would add "strong leasing relationships to unlock significant value in the Gallery."

Macerich chairman and CEO Art Coppola said he looked forward to investing in "one of the top real estate markets in the United States," one with "strong long-term growth prospects."

215-854-5194 @PhillyJoeD