Gallery cart vendors out in the cold

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 Gallery merchants describe their plight at a meeting of Philadelphia City Council. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Gallery merchants describe their plight at a meeting of Philadelphia City Council. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Cart merchants at Philadelphia’s Gallery shopping mall are upset that their leases are not being renewed. Despite a lease extension, they are looking for a new place to set up shop.

Vendors who work sell merchandise from carts in the center of The Gallery showed up at City Council’s Thursday meeting, begging for help.

Merchant Irma Lopez described their plight.

“I’ve been there since Oct. 1, 1992 — 23 years. And now I have to go to have no income don’t know where to go from here,” she said.

Councilman Mark Squilla was able to get the merchants a lease extension of almost two months from the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns the facility.

“They did do that rent free. They did tell me Gallery 1 will be closing,” he said. “And Gallery 2, there are some contracts to buy out and some they are in the process of trying to fulfill, but they are in the process of trying to close down everything.”

The mall is in line for a multi-year renovation.

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