Update, Aug. 3: PREIT now says the target launch date has been pushed to November 2019.
The sprawling maze of chain link fences dotted by orange awareness cones and striped jersey barriers around 10th and Market streets is impossible to miss. But the huge construction site won’t be a mess for much longer. If developers stay on target, the area will reopen for business as Fashion District Philadelphia by the end of 2018.
What exactly will Fashion District Philadelphia be? It’s been a few years since the revamp of The Gallery at Market East began, and some of the details have changed along the way.
As a refresher on where it all started and what’s planned for launch, here’s a comprehensive timeline highlighting the milestones of the $325 million project.
Then-Mayor Michael Nutter formally approves the remodel of The Gallery
Tenants that will stay open during the revamp include the relatively new Century 21 department store and the long adored Tiffany’s Bakery.
The demolition begins and The Gallery looks like the ideal setting for Jordan Peele’s next horror flick
Not everyone was pleased that the iconic landmark — which has been referred to as “Black Philadelphia’s downtown mall” —was being obliterated.
Official construction of the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia finally starts
The hammers and cranes take over the area from Ninth to 11th and Market to Filbert streets, marking the dawn of a new era for the Center City pedestrian: pools of green trash to yech at.
Name change! Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia is scrapped for the more polished, frou-frou ‘Fashion District Philadelphia’
Apparently, once the très chic, fast-fashion behemoth H&M committed to the project, “outlets” in the imminent mall’s name just didn’t sound as sexy any more.
The future H&M will be the region’s largest, but the mall will still have plenty of outlets to bargain shop at, including Columbia Sportswear Outlet, Levi’s Outlet, Francesca’s Collection Outlet and a Sketchers Outlet.
“While the project will still offer outlet shopping, the response received from the retail community reaffirms that the scope of the project is a truly unique and robust one — encompassing a large number of full-priced, flagship-style stores and exciting entertainment concepts,” said developing duo Macerich and PREIT in a statement.
Burlington Coat Factory becomes FaDi’s second flagship store and an AMC theater joins the construction fray!
The movie theater will fill a void for Center City’s cinemagoers, and will boost the viewing experience with reclining seats and dine-in options.
The 70-foot tall glass entrance is completed, and dining options are (partially) revealed
“The Cube,” as its been named by JPRA Architects, is composed of 170 panels of glass, and will serve to greet visitors and entice passersby on the corner of Ninth and Market.
Market Eats is set to be a swanky food court — oh, excuse us, a food hall — and a European food retailer will launch its first U.S. market in Fashion District. Other restaurants destined for the hall are teased as a high-end burger joint, a sports bar, a bakery and a scratch pizzeria.
The opening is pushed from August 2018 to November 2018. Womp, womp.
Right on time for holiday shopping?
Three top stories are purchased by Thor Equities LLC and FaDi sponsors Philly’s Spring Fashion Week
The acquired 214,000 square feet were formerly full of offices. The potential to host a coworking space is floated.
Fashion District of Philadelphia lends itself some hype by living up to its name and serving some serious looks on the runway.
Philadelphia CVB teases shopping discounts
No details are released, but apparently when the complex is open, frequent shoppers will get access to discount programs.
There will also be group shopping (is that really a thing?) and event space, which makes sense since it’s right next to the Convention Center.
And of course, like The Gallery, the new mall — er, district — will connect below-ground to the SEPTA concourse. It’ll also connect directly to Reading Terminal Market.
November 2018 November 2019
Though the original target was November 2018, that no longer holds. In announcing two new tenants at the start of August 2018 — City Winery and Dallas BBQ — PREIT and Macerich officials moved their launch date. It is now projected to open one full year later, at some point in November 2019.
Here’s hoping Fashion District Philadelphia doesn’t push the grand opening again — we are ready to be free of those scaffolding lanes.