The revamped Gallery at Market East shopping mall "won't be as dramatic" as currently planned if the project is completed without $30 million in requested state aid, one of its developers said Wednesday.
Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust's chief executive officer, Joseph Coradino, said that the company remains optimistic the money will become available, but that it could downscale the project if it does not.
PREIT's $325 million-plus plan to remake the dilapidated Gallery into a high-end outlet mall is among the dozens of Philadelphia projects awaiting aid from Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, which has been put on hold because of the state's long-running budget stalemate.
"We believe we can create a project that can be slightly scaled back, but can be highly successful without the money," Coradino said.
Coradino, whose company is redeveloping the Gallery in partnership with California-based Macerich Co., made the remarks during a conference call with analysts in which he also discussed success selling unwanted malls and attracting new tenants to PREIT's core properties.
Among the company's recent sales was an $18 million deal for Palmer Park Mall in Easton, which closed earlier this year. The buyer was New York-based Cityview Commercial L.L.C., the real estate arm of the Jimmy Jazz chain of athletic- and casual-wear stores, PREIT spokeswoman Heather Crowell wrote in an email.
Along with other transactions set to close during the first half of this year, PREIT will have sold off more than $640 million in non-core assets since the end of 2012, Coradino said.
Recently signed leases, meanwhile, include the introduction of Round One, a restaurant/bowling alley/arcade/karaoke parlor hybrid from Japan, to Exton Square Mall. The amusement center will open this year at the portion of the mall formerly occupied by a J.C. Penney store, Coradino said.
It will be the Philadelphia region's first location for Round One Entertainment Inc., which has nine branches in operation, most in California, according to its website.
"We feel good about the fact that we have strong properties with strong retailers that will withstand dips in the economy and thrive during economic expansion," Coradino said.