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Powered by $10M grant, Gallery's mall transformation to begin this week in earnest

The closed Gallery at Market East’s  entryway at Ninth and Market Streets, following months of demolition work.

Crews are scheduled to begin rebuilding the Gallery at Market East this week, reinventing the shopping mall as a new retail, dining and drinking emporium for visiting tourists, bargain-hunting fashionistas, and thirsty commuters.

Friday's planned start of construction on what is to be called Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia follows months of stripping drywall, tearing up flooring, and dismantling escalators at one end of the sprawling Center City complex.

The work is being done in phases, with some stores continuing to operate in the western section of the building closer to City Hall as construction begins in what has become a cavernous space in the eastern section.

Philadelphia-based PREIT and its partner in the redevelopment venture, Macerich of Santa Monica, Calif., plan to spend at least $325 million to fill 730,000 square feet of retail space with outlet shops of upscale brands such as Gucci and Prada, typical mall tenants such as H&M, and crowd-drawing restaurants.