By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A plan is coming together to revive the Market East District in Philadelphia, after decades of indecision and failed proposals to breath new life into the Gallery shopping mall, which has its fair share of detractors.

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Built in 1977, the fortress-like Gallery is set to undergo a two-year, top-to-bottom, $325-million redesign that makes it more accessible along that three block stretch of the Market East corridor:

“If you go look at the gallery and you want to think about what’s going to be there, forget everything that is there,” says Joseph Coradino — CEO of Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust.

Rendering of the inside of the Gallery Shopping Mall (Credit: PREIT)

Rendering of the inside of the Gallery Shopping Mall (Credit: PREIT )

Coradino promises to create a “wow” factor with a mix of 125-luxury and moderate brand retailers, as well as food and entertainment options.

He notes that much of the mall will be closed during the two-year demolition and construction phase, and commuters will only be able to access public transit at street level locations.

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Also, Coradino says, you won’t be able to get out of the elements in bad weather and use the Gallery as your cut through, to the Regional Rail Lines:

“You know, a temporary inconvenience, but permanent improvements when commuters do come back into the reimagined gallery, I think they will have a completely different experience.”

Rendering of the inside of the Gallery Shopping Mall (Credit: Bellevue Communications)

Rendering of the inside of the Gallery Shopping Mall (Credit: PREIT)

PREIT will get public financing for the makeover. The city of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth will put up more than $90-million, but in return, city officials say it will generate jobs and higher tax revenue.

PREIT and its partner, Macerich Company, which specialize in shopping malls and shopping centers, are expected to invest $235-million into the project.

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The Gallery will be rebranded as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia at Market East.