Financing for Gallery makeover moves forward

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A plan for a city tax break to help accomplish the makeover of Philadelphia’s Gallery Mall is officially in the City Council pipeline.

Councilman Mark Squilla introduced the measure for tax-increment financing, which he said is critical to a successful makeover of the shopping mall.

“There were certain layers of ownership throughout the Gallery from the Redevelopment Authority that had to be worked out through lawyers from PREIT and the city of Philadelphia,” he said Thursday. “There were payments of maintenance of efforts that were going on from the city to the Gallery that had to be worked out, that were paid or weren’t paid. It was so complicated that it took basically a year and a half to get to this point.”

With the issues worked out, Squilla said, it’s time to move forward on the project he sees as vital for the city’s future.

“We have a dead zone between City Hall and the historic fabric of the city of Philadelphia, down around Fifth and Sixth and Market,” he said. “We really need to revitalize the Market East Corridor.”

Squilla’s goal is to approve the bill before council’s summer recess to allow the multiyear project to begin.

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