PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT/NYSE: PEI) is fulfilling its promise to enhance the shopping experience at Moorestown Mall in Moorestown, New Jersey through the addition of exciting new restaurants and retailers including Marc Vetri’s Osteria, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Corner Bakery, The Walking Company, Cotton On, and Body Central. As the remerchandising of the property continues to progress, more restaurant and store additions will be announced. Moorestown Mall is a 1,000,000 square foot enclosed regional shopping mall anchored by Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Sears, and Boscov’s.
Upon acquiring the first four liquor licenses awarded in what was previously a “dry” town in southern New Jersey just outside of Philadelphia, PREIT is executing its strategy of adding restaurants as a key element to improving the shopping experience and driving traffic to its retail partners. PREIT worked closely with Moorestown Township and its residents over the past several years to successfully pass a referendum to lift the nearly century-old ban on alcohol sales in the town.
Earlier this year, PREIT executed a lease with Marc Vetri’s affiliate, Vetri Family Restaurants, to open the second location of its nationally acclaimed restaurant, Osteria, at Moorestown Mall, marking Vetri’s inaugural foray into a suburban environment. The original Osteria restaurant is in Philadelphia, and was named one of the “101 Best Places to Eat in the World” by Newsweek. The Moorestown Mall location is expected to open in the summer of 2013.
Marc Vetri, executive chef, is a widely recognized and celebrated restaurateur. Within two years of opening his first Philadelphia restaurant, Vetri was named one of Food & Wine’s Ten Best New Chefs and received the Philadelphia Inquirer’s highest restaurant rating.
PREIT also recently executed a lease with Firebirds Wood Fired Grill to open a new location at the mall. Firebirds Wood Fired Grill currently operates 23 restaurants, primarily located in the Eastern U.S. and offers an upscale, casual interior with signature feures including an exposed kitchen, an indoor stone fireplace, a wine wall and an expansive bar, aptly dubbed a “Firebar.” This location is the company’s first in southern New Jersey and is expected to open in the summer of 2013.
These restaurants will complement the previously announced 56,000 square foot Regal Premium Experience Theater set to open in the summer of 2013.
“The acquisition of our liquor licenses has paved the way for transforming Moorestown Mall and the signing of these key leases is evidence of the progress we are making,” said Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT. “Restaurants have become a key component in creating a differentiated shopping experience offering our customers more options and reasons to come back more often and stay on site longer. We’re very encouraged by the traffic and sales productivity resulting from the addition of other high-profile dining venues elsewhere in our portfolio.”
Corner Bakery has also signed a lease to open in the summer of 2013 on an outparcel. This will be the first Corner Bakery in Southern New Jersey. Corner Bakery, alongside the existing Pei Wei restaurant, will offer another fast, casual option to residents.
This momentum has led to many other unique retailers securing permanent locations in the mall including Southern New Jersey’s first Cotton On, The Walking Company, Body Central, and Crazy 8. Cotton On is an Australian retailer currently expanding in the United States and offers an array of affordable, trendy apparel, accessories and shoes for men and women.
About Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust
Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, founded in 1960 and one of the first equity REITs in the U.S., has a primary investment focus on retail shopping malls. Currently, the Company's portfolio of 49 properties comprises 38 shopping malls, eight community and power centers, and three development properties. The Company’s properties are located in 13 states in the eastern half of the United States, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region. The operating retail properties have approximately 33 million total square feet of space. PREIT, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol PEI. The Company's website can be found at www.preit.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans, strategies, anticipated events, trends and other matters that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views about future events, achievements or results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that might cause future events, achievements or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. In particular, our business might be materially and adversely affected by uncertainties affecting real estate businesses generally as well as the following, among other factors: our substantial debt and our high leverage ratio; constraining leverage, interest and tangible net worth covenants under our 2010 Credit Facility; potential losses on impairment of certain long-lived assets, such as real estate, or of intangible assets, such as goodwill; potential losses on impairment of assets that we might be required to record in connection with any dispositions of assets; recent changes to our corporate management team and any resulting modifications to our business strategies; our ability to refinance our existing indebtedness when it matures, on favorable terms or at all, due in part to the effects on us of dislocations and liquidity disruptions in the capital and credit markets; our ability to raise capital, including through the issuance of equity or equity-related securities if market conditions are favorable, through joint ventures or other partnerships, through sales of properties or interests in properties, or through other actions; our short- and long-term liquidity position; current economic conditions and their effect on employment, consumer confidence and spending and the corresponding effects on tenant business performance, prospects, solvency and leasing decisions and on our cash flows, and the value and potential impairment of our properties; general economic, financial and political conditions, including credit market conditions, changes in interest rates or unemployment; changes in the retail industry, including consolidation and store closings, particularly among anchor tenants; our ability to maintain and increase property occupancy, sales and rental rates, in light of the relatively high number of leases that have expired or are expiring in the next two years; increases in operating costs that cannot be passed on to tenants; risks relating to development and redevelopment activities; the effects of online shopping and other uses of technology on our retail tenants; concentration of our properties in the Mid-Atlantic region; changes in local market conditions, such as the supply of or demand for retail space, or other competitive factors; potential dilution from any capital raising transactions; possible environmental liabilities; our ability to obtain insurance at a reasonable cost; and existence of complex regulations, including those relating to our status as a REIT, and the adverse consequences if we were to fail to qualify as a REIT. Additional factors that might cause future events, achievements or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements include those discussed in the section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K in the section entitled “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or otherwise.