Philly Council panel moves to assist Gallery financing

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 Councilman Mark Squilla says the committee move is just a backup, satisfying financiers of the project in case the new mall is not as profitable as projected. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Councilman Mark Squilla says the committee move is just a backup, satisfying financiers of the project in case the new mall is not as profitable as projected. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The parties involved in rebuilding Philadelphia’s Gallery at Market East mall have enlisted City Council for a little bit of insurance.

Philadelphia City Council’s Rules Committee has approved a neighborhood improvement district or NID that will cover only the Gallery mall.

 

The designation would allow the developer to pay for the project through tax increment financing or TIF and payments collected from tenants in the renovated mall.  

Councilman Mark Squilla said the committee move is just a backup, satisfying financiers of the project in case the new mall is not as profitable as projected.

“The NID allows the TIF to be secured when the financiers come in and say that we will give you the money to cover the TIF and you are securing it through the NID, that enables them to say you will be able to assess the store owners if there’s a shortfall in paying back their finances,” Squilla said.

Councilman Bill Greenlee said Wednesday he’s hopeful this with be the start of a reborn Market East.

“We’re looking for ways to try to approve that whole area, we’ve been successful in different parts of Center City, but that part is still a challenge,” Greenlee said.

This financing plan would not further reduce taxes collected by Philadelphia; it has already waived certain taxes to encourage the project.

The renovated mall is expected to reopen with more than 100 stores in the spring of 2017 as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia at Market East.

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