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  #12861  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 2:32 AM
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iheartphilly iheartphilly is offline
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
I was legit just thinking the other day that the two Gallery two overbuilds could end up being used for hotel space. The Convention Center has seen a massive uptick in business the last couple of years, to the point where the building no longer lays fallow for long stretches during the middle of convention season and is luring new conventions into its halls e.g. the Natural Products Expo which will be coming here in 2020, and often contemporaneously (such as today!) hosting multiple small conventions when large conventions haven't rented the entire space.

When the Convention Center was expanded, nobody could justify adding more hotel space because the general consensus was that its size was not the issue; its labor was, and adding more space wasn't going to fix the labor problem anytime soon. It was when SMG took over the Convention Center's management that the labor problem got fixed, conventioneers were willing to take a second look at Philadelphia, and decided they liked what they saw. Now it's started to become apparent that the Marriot, large as it is, is not large enough to handle the convention business, and that some other, similarly-sized hotels are needed in the area, and, as luck would have it, the Gallery II overbuild parcels are right next door.

That said, we are late enough in the current cycle where I don't think we'll see a proposal for a large new Convention Center hotel. But there are about half a dozen parcels where such a hotel could work, and I can easily see two of them get redeveloped during the next RE cycle.

It is also worth noting that the Natural Products Expo East is moving from its longtime home of Baltimore for the simple fact that it's completely outgrown the Baltimore Convention Center, which is basically the same size the PCC was before its expansion. Baltimore is losing convention business due to its undersized center in general right now, e.g. Otakon moved to DC a few years back because it outgrew Baltimore's convention center as well, and that was a huge plum we lost because it happened right in between SMG fixing the building's labor issues and the convention industry finding out about such.
Some good points, especially about why we are seeing business coming from other locations like Baltimore. For very large conventions that bring people in from all over the US, having hotel rooms within walking distance to the Convention Center is key. I'm curious what that hotel count is in the vicinity of the Convention Center. I would think hotelier would need to do some math and figure if it was in there interest to build one next to the convention center and if developers would be pitching or thinking of the same by bring in a hotelier as part of their growth plan.
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  #12862  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 2:52 AM
GtownFriend GtownFriend is offline
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Originally Posted by iheartphilly View Post
For very large conventions that bring people in from all over the US, having hotel rooms within walking distance to the Convention Center is key. I'm curious what that hotel count is in the vicinity of the Convention Center. I would think hotelier would need to do some math and figure if it was in there interest to build one next to the convention center and if developers would be pitching or thinking of the same by bring in a hotelier as part of their growth plan.
The W/Element will have ~750 rooms coming on line soon. This is about half the Marriot. I read somewhere that this was key to booking some of the new larger conventions. So there is some progress, but room for a good deal more. As you say.
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  #12863  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 2:54 AM
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3.0 University Place




They're still including that site map with the uCity Square building at 3801 Market as "7.0 and 8.0 University Place." Who actually owns the parcel?
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  #12864  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 3:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mcgrath618 View Post
[Size=4]
They're still including that site map with the uCity Square building at 3801 Market as "7.0 and 8.0 University Place." Who actually owns the parcel?
Actually it's the 3900 block, which is currently the University Square Complex, the town house development. Your question still holds though.
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  #12865  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Londonee View Post
1487 Clone - you are aware that there are amazing examples of urban malls around the world correct?
In the US? I was mainly talking about American malls. By definition its a large building built for indoor, climate controlled shopping. How would the old gallery been converted into a must see architectural icon? Its utilitarian at its core- a box for enclosed shopping.
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  #12866  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
The Candytopia is an interesting idea commanding a large space near the main entrance ... too bad it interacts with all three sides extremely poorly. A huge missed opportunity there, to be sure.
I think I saw that candytopia was a traveling museum, so it's temporary. If so, hopefully the space/layout will improve or change depending on what's there at the time.
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  #12867  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 1:35 PM
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delete on boogeyman stuff, etc....LOL.
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  #12868  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 1:58 AM
PhillyEngineer PhillyEngineer is offline
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I visited the FDP tonight...here are my observations:

1. The outside is still unattractive...even with the addition of some digital screens.
2. The inside is much better. It is much brighter than the Gallery was.
3. There is a lot of beautiful public artwork inside. I went on a tour of it, bur PREIT stupidly scheduled a band to play in the 9th Street atrium at the same time and they were blasting the music so loud I couldn't hear much of what the tour guide was saying about the art.
4. Eliminating the subterranean entrance at 9th Street is a big improvement.
5. Most of the stores are your standard ho-hum mall variety with a couple of exceptions: The Columbia Sportswear store is beautiful, DSW will open a store - should be popular, YOYOSO - a China based store that looks similar to Target might be a draw when it opens - except they are putting it in a terrible location - At the far east end on the Concourse level behind an escalator.
6. The H&M store is huge - it is on 3 levels.
7. There is a lot of empty retail space - especially at the western end.
8. The Uniquely Philly section seems like an afterthought. The storefronts are small and have little character to them. I wonder if they are temporary.
9. The "Entertainment" district on the 3rd floor looks like it will only be AMC & Round1. The rest of the floor is going to be co-working space.
10. Market Eats is nothing special. It's better than what was there before, but it is all chain restaurants. The Chickie's & Pete's is an airport type of stand.
11. Starbucks will face Market Street and will only be accessible from the street...not from inside the mall.
12. Century 21 has not opened it's 2nd floor entrance into the mall...not a good sign.

Before it opened I gave it a 50/50 chance of succeeding. Now that I have seen it in person...I haven't changed my opinion. I am just now sure that there are enough unique stores/elements to attract people from outside Center City. That means they will have to rely on Center City residents and tourists/conventioneers....and I am not sure that is enough. Here are some pictures:





















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  #12869  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 12:34 PM
eixample eixample is offline
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Originally Posted by PhillyEngineer View Post
I am just now sure that there are enough unique stores/elements to attract people from outside Center City. That means they will have to rely on Center City residents and tourists/conventioneers....and I am not sure that is enough.
I walked through yesterday and you could see that it was not just drawing from Center City residents but rather from people all over the city. It was a great multicultural cross section of what Philly is today, lots of families, teens, non-family adults. I think PREIT's concern is that Center City-ites get turned off and it only draws from non-Center City residents which could turn into a negative stereotype feedback loop that it is only the mall for 'them'. I think there will be plenty of people to go here (as long as it's kept safe, attractive and has things to draw people): residents from any part of the city with good rail or bus access, center city workers, tourists, conventioneers.

I am not a mall or shopping person but coming in with low expectations I was impressed. I will definitely try to partake it as much as possible. I was also a little let down by the food options, but I really liked the underground access to the transit lines (El, Patco plus Jefferson Station).

I don't get the complaints about the video screens. People actually want streaming video facing Market Street? Isn't that a safety hazard?
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  #12870  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 1:56 PM
New2Fishtown New2Fishtown is offline
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Inga posted a review that's hard to argue with, arguing primarily that it's still just a mall, and a mostly inward-facing one at that. One thing that hasn't been explicitly mentioned which I find interesting having been there is that it manages to feel fairly dynamic already despite that the fact that of the six Market Street corners it holds, only two are really occupied:

8th and Market: still vacant (her review alludes to the fact that they have an unannounced user for the space)

9th and Market NE: Burlington
9th and Market NW: Candytopia (temporary use, obviously not what they'd hoped for the prime spot in the mall)
10th and Market NE: H&M
10th and Market NW: still vacant (liquor license in window)
11th and Market NE: still vacant (massive two-story space)

Point being, they basically managed to open a mall without any anchors. Not sure who it's a credit to (maybe just sheer volumes of people?) that on my visit it managed to feel quite lively despite the fact that its prime spaces are still behind drywall, and it is these prime spaces that will likely do the most to create a feeling of permeability between Market Street and the interior. Sounds like we can count on at least one of these being food oriented (10th Street where the liquor license is). Depending on what they grab for the remaining anchor spots, I wonder how much that might shift the look/feel and expand the audience of who's spending time there.

In the meantime, I found it to succeed in the most basic ways it needs to: it feels modern and new, connects to transit stations and the Convention Center in ways that make the whole thing feel like an impressive urban feat of infrastructure, and is certainly already enough of a shiny new thing to draw in tourists (of whom i saw many) along with commuters and locals.
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  #12871  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 2:07 PM
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^
Hmm...if you are thinking anchors have to be the classic department stores, then yes. But, I think they achieved their anchors with H and M, Century 21, and possibly Burlington. I think the general term in retail is if you can get a brand to occupy large amount of square footing as part of the development, they become the anchor.

More importantly, I think PREIT found a good mix of retail and entertainment to get people to spend their money. And the co-working is clever, if filled out. The idea is to keep an influx and outflow of people in and out of FDP.

FWIW, I think Inga was also spot on in her article. And, not that we weren't aware, but PREIT did confirm they are not cladding the second level. Huge disappointment, given the new developments on Market East. I think it would of blended in with the whole Market East Re-developement, at least cosmetically.
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  #12872  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 2:09 PM
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This is encouraging. Particularly;

Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Fishtown View Post
In the meantime, I found it to succeed in the most basic ways it needs to: it feels modern and new, connects to transit stations and the Convention Center in ways that make the whole thing feel like an impressive urban feat of infrastructure, and is certainly already enough of a shiny new thing to draw in tourists (of whom i saw many) along with commuters and locals.
allows me to believe this is something more than just a mall
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  #12873  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 3:05 PM
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Originally Posted by New2Fishtown View Post
10th and Market NW: still vacant (liquor license in window)
This space is going to be a Yard House.
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  #12874  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 4:18 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartphilly View Post
^
Hmm...if you are thinking anchors have to be the classic department stores, then yes. But, I think they achieved their anchors with H and M, Century 21, and possibly Burlington. I think the general term in retail is if you can get a brand to occupy large amount of square footing as part of the development, they become the anchor.

More importantly, I think PREIT found a good mix of retail and entertainment to get people to spend their money. And the co-working is clever, if filled out. The idea is to keep an influx and outflow of people in and out of FDP.

FWIW, I think Inga was also spot on in her article. And, not that we weren't aware, but PREIT did confirm they are not cladding the second level. Huge disappointment, given the new developments on Market East. I think it would of blended in with the whole Market East Re-developement, at least cosmetically.
I still can't believe they did not power wash and paint the top exterior on the Western and Eastern buildings. That's just a slap in the face. If they didn't do it now, they probably won't when/if towers are adding. But that is another opportunity to do so. Otherwise, I am encouraged by what I'm hearing. I'm going to try to check it out tomorrow.
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  #12875  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 4:28 PM
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regarding the cheap-out of the exterior, I'm hoping it has to do with overbuild plans (the towers that were in the renderings). I'm sure I'll be disappointed though. I read Inga's article and seems pretty spot-on. I still think it will do well from what I saw and agree that it feels pretty lively and welcoming to all despite a large amount of space not yet open.
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  #12876  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Skintreesnail View Post
I think I saw that candytopia was a traveling museum, so it's temporary. If so, hopefully the space/layout will improve or change depending on what's there at the time.
Candytopia leaves in January. Rumor is that a second Apple store will be coming to the Gallery. That space would be perfect for it!
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  #12877  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 11:18 PM
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I was just in there...

I hate to admit that as far as the interior goes, it’s pretty damn good. I’ll definitely be going back for the AMC when it opens, along with the arcade.
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Last edited by hammersklavier; Sep 22, 2019 at 4:30 AM.
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  #12878  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2019, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by eixample View Post
I walked through yesterday and you could see that it was not just drawing from Center City residents but rather from people all over the city. It was a great multicultural cross section of what Philly is today, lots of families, teens, non-family adults. I think PREIT's concern is that Center City-ites get turned off and it only draws from non-Center City residents which could turn into a negative stereotype feedback loop that it is only the mall for 'them'. I think there will be plenty of people to go here (as long as it's kept safe, attractive and has things to draw people): residents from any part of the city with good rail or bus access, center city workers, tourists, conventioneers.

I am not a mall or shopping person but coming in with low expectations I was impressed. I will definitely try to partake it as much as possible. I was also a little let down by the food options, but I really liked the underground access to the transit lines (El, Patco plus Jefferson Station).

I don't get the complaints about the video screens. People actually want streaming video facing Market Street? Isn't that a safety hazard?
I honestly doubt much of PREITS plan revolves around CC residents doing tons of shopping there. Money is money, I'm not sure that CC resident money is worth more than anyone else's. When you think about who lives in CC it's highly unlikely that the majority of those people do a lot of brick and mortar shopping so people need to get over the notion that the success of the mall is based on how many "high class" CC folks shop there. Tourists and conventioneers make impulsive purchases and are very likely to spend money in stores just because they are away from home. Its a safe bet to assume the bulk of the business will come from commuters, Philly residents outside of CC and visitors. From what I recall, stories published several years back stated the Gallery was actually an above average performer in terms of sales per SF for PREIT.
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  #12879  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2019, 12:24 PM
cardeza cardeza is offline
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Originally Posted by eixample View Post
I walked through yesterday and you could see that it was not just drawing from Center City residents but rather from people all over the city. It was a great multicultural cross section of what Philly is today, lots of families, teens, non-family adults. I think PREIT's concern is that Center City-ites get turned off and it only draws from non-Center City residents which could turn into a negative stereotype feedback loop that it is only the mall for 'them'. I think there will be plenty of people to go here (as long as it's kept safe, attractive and has things to draw people): residents from any part of the city with good rail or bus access, center city workers, tourists, conventioneers.

I am not a mall or shopping person but coming in with low expectations I was impressed. I will definitely try to partake it as much as possible. I was also a little let down by the food options, but I really liked the underground access to the transit lines (El, Patco plus Jefferson Station).

I don't get the complaints about the video screens. People actually want streaming video facing Market Street? Isn't that a safety hazard?
Every mall has a "food court" with relatively mundane, affordable chain offerings. This is no different. At least there will be some nicer stand alone options such as City Winery. Even the food court at Liberty Place is nothing more than a glorified mall food court except its more crowded and noisy than any upscale mall foodcourt. The Bourse is an atypical food court with fancier options and a unique environment- but I just read numerous vendors there have closed up shop already. My guess is you wont be reading the same about FDP food court purveyors anytime soon.
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  #12880  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2019, 2:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cardeza View Post
Every mall has a "food court" with relatively mundane, affordable chain offerings. This is no different. At least there will be some nicer stand alone options such as City Winery. Even the food court at Liberty Place is nothing more than a glorified mall food court except its more crowded and noisy than any upscale mall foodcourt. The Bourse is an atypical food court with fancier options and a unique environment- but I just read numerous vendors there have closed up shop already. My guess is you wont be reading the same about FDP food court purveyors anytime soon.
I was just in the Bourse on Saturday (not for the Oktoberfest thing). It was pretty packed, even well after the event was over. Some stands were indeed closed, but the harsh majority of stands were open. The only ones that seemed closed were seasonal ones and more niche stands. The Fry Bar is awesome btw.
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