The Gallery Mall redevelopment is still very much a construction zone on Market Street, but its developers are already revamping the project, starting with a name change: Goodbye, Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia. Hello, Fashion District Philadelphia.
Now, new plans call for retailers like H&M, which will open its largest store in the region here and—wait for it—a dine-in movie theater that has reclining seats.
The Inquirer first reported that the project’s co-developers PREIT and Macerich decided to go in another direction with the $365 million project, moving away from outlet retailers to a more mixed-use take with both retail, restaurants, and entertainment.
A statement from Fashion District Philadelphia to Curbed Philly said:
Based on strong retail demand among flagship brands, in addition to designer outlets, the project name was changed to Fashion District Philadelphia to reflect the more expansive mix of retail, entertainment and dining that is driving this game-changing venture. [...] The new name, Fashion District Philadelphia, reflects that sentiment and shift in tenant mix, along with a new fashion district this project will bring to this city.
Philly is woefully lacking in movie theaters, save for a number of smaller venues like the Ritz Five in Society Hill (which is slated for redevelopment). University City is also home to a small movie theater that offers dining and drinking options.
There will still be some outlets at the Fashion District, the statement clarified. Burlington Coat Factory, which is already located nearby on Market Street, also plans to move into a new space in the Fashion District of Philadelphia.
This big shift comes months after major construction began on the redevelopment at the end of 2016. The renovation of the 1,400,000-square-foot project will make it the largest retail repositioning project in the region. When all is said and done by late 2018, the project will span three city blocks.