Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia

PREIT finally revealed its vision for the revamped Gallery at Market East, the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia. Understandably, the local internet went ape shit. And why shouldn't it? In the last few years, the Gallery has gone from a joke to voluntarily vacant. At this point people, especially those living or working near Market East, simply want anything

But simply anything seems to be exactly what we'll be getting. Jeff Gammage of the Inquirer relayed a presentation offered by PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino and AIA Chairman, James Grigsby, calling the proposed changes a "dramatic transformation." 

Does it look okay? That's exactly how it looks.

After looking at the renderings I quickly searched the article for the subtle "Paid Advertisement" disclaimer. It seems our collective desire for a passable shopping experience at the Gallery has trumped our standards. 

If the Gallery was shopping for a prom dress, she got it at the Gallery and paid way too much.

Sure, the glass entrance at 10th and Market has been replaced, and some of the flyovers have been sheathed in wood paneling, but this is a $575M endeavor. To put things into perspective, Comcast Center cost $540M. That's a hefty price tag for what barely amounts to a makeover. 

I truly hope the bulk of that money is earmarked for research and fielding the best retail, the only variables that will ever make the Gallery succeed.

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