Market East is about to face another blow, or perhaps an opportunity. Although a massive vacancy at the Gallery can hardly be considered an opportunity when most of the street between 8th and 12th and underutilized or downright vacant.
Sears Holdings announced that it will be closing their Kmart location at the Gallery at Market East. While "good riddance" has been echoed through the snottier parts of Center City, Kmart isn't just one of the Gallery's anchor stores, it anchors it in the middle.
It was bad enough when Strawbridge's closed, leaving the mall with no fine department store, but Kmart sits right in the middle. To pass from one side to the other, shoppers will soon need to pass through the bottom floor.
PREIT appears to have no plans for the vacant space despite rumors of everything from a Bloomingdales to a casino. Say what you will about Kmart, but without a grocery store or big box chain in Center City, it was a convenient place to buy reasonably priced kitty litter and Diet Coke.