By Pat Loeb

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — That big empty box on East Market Street, known as the Gallery, will stay empty longer than expected.

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The developer is now projecting the re-opening for 2018.

The mall operator, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, or PREIT, emptied the Gallery out last year, predicting it would be re-opening as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia by summer of 2017.

PREIT spokesman Kevin Feeley says negotiations with the Redevelopment Authority impacted the schedule.

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“It is a $325 million investment, it’s a big project, lots of moving parts and, there’s not a problem that’s caused the delay, it just took longer to complete the ground lease than we originally anticipated.”

Feeley says the project is proceeding, demolition’s under way, and there’s still a lot of interest from retailers in the space.

The Redevelpment Authority agrees the negotiations took longer than anticipated but says in a statement that, since they concluded, late last year, “PREIT has been working to provide the necessary documents such as insurance and permits to enable construction to begin. Additional documentation was provided this morning, and the PRA is reviewing them and, upon approval, construction will begin soon thereafter.”

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The city is providing $55 million in tax increment financing.