PREIT announces new restuarant and stores opening at the mall

PREIT announces new restuarant and stores opening at the mall

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT/NYSE: PEI) is fulfilling its promise to enhance the shopping experience at Moorestown Mall in Moorestown, 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. 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.