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PREIT Receives Zoning Approval to Add Multifamily, Hotel Uses to New Jersey’s Moorestown Mall

Moorestown-Mall

Pictured is a rendering of Moorestown Mall, located outside of Philadelphia in Southern New Jersey, with multifamily uses added.

MOORESTOWN, N.J. — Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) has received a zoning approval that will allow the Philadelphia-based mall owner to add up to 1,065 multifamily units and a hotel to its Moorestown Mall in Southern New Jersey.

For PREIT (NYSE: PEI), which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early November, the move is part of a larger effort to diversify the real estate at several of its regional malls. Dubbed a “densification plan” by company executives, PREIT’s plan to sell parcels of land to multifamily developers is expected to generate as much as $150 million in proceeds that will be used to reduce its outstanding debt.

The company is in the process of delivering 3,500 apartments across its properties as part of the initial phase of the plan, which could ultimately see as many as 7,000 multifamily units and several hotels added to PREIT’s properties. The first phase of the multifamily component at Moorestown Mall will consist of 375 units and a hotel with an unspecified number of rooms.

“Our foresight has shaped a high-quality portfolio with a strong retail core that attracts a distinctive mix of new uses to redefine the future-ready retail and leisure district,” said Joe Coradino, CEO of PREIT. “The synergistic addition of apartments and hotels will benefit our existing tenants and communities by increasing visits to the property and delivering a new customer.”

Moorestown Mall is a 1 million-square-foot regional shopping and dining destination located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. The mall originally opened in 1963 and was renovated in 2008 and 2009.

The property took a hit during the recent wave of retail bankruptcies, losing anchor tenants Sears (205,591 square feet), Macy’s (200,000 square feet) and Lord & Taylor (121,200 square feet). Boscov’s (202,765 square feet) is the only remaining anchor tenant at the mall, while one of the vacant anchor spots is currently being used as a COVID-19 “vaccination megasite.”

As of early November, PREIT’s portfolio spanned approximately 22.5 million square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space across eight states. The company’s stock price opened at $1.02 per share on Monday, Jan. 11, down from $4.99 per share a year ago.

Taylor Williams

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