Gallery Mall financing measures win Philly Council committee approval

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 A rendering of the redevelopment of the Gallery shopping mall rebranded as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia at Market East.  (Image provided by Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust)

A rendering of the redevelopment of the Gallery shopping mall rebranded as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia at Market East. (Image provided by Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust)

Despite differing opinions on whether workers will be paid a “living wage,” a City Council committee has approved measures to help finance redevelopment of Philadelphia’s Gallery Mall.

The deal gives the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, known as PREIT, and its partners the final piece of their funding puzzle.  That government assistance means that workers at some stores must be paid a living wage, said Councilman Wilson Goode.

“Those who lease property or entities that lease property from financial aid recipients that have more than 25 employees and gross receipts of a million dollars or more … are subject to compliance with the living wage and benefits standard,” Goode said.

Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger said the city’s solicitor has a different interpretation, which holds that only the owner and developer of the property — and not individual store owners — are required to pay the $12 per hour minimum.

“We believe that the law says the direct recipients of the benefit, which in this case is PREIT and Macerich, are obligated to living wage, and they are committed to doing that,” Greenberger said.

The bill could get final approval in council June 11.

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