Moorestown Mall

MOORESTOWN, NJ-After working hand-in-hand with Township officials and residents here for several years to overturn a century-old local ban on alcohol, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust is making merry at the local mall.

The company has added a lively group of new restaurants and shops and announces that the progress will continue in coming months.

Leases have been executed with Marc Vetri’s Osteria, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Corner Bakery, The Walking Company, Cotton On, and Body Central at the 1-million-square-foot enclosed regional shopping center.

“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 in a release.

“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,” he said. Coradino said traffic and sales are up across PREITs retail portfolio as a result of adding high-profile dining venues.

After managing to acquire the first four liquor licenses awarded in what was previously a “dry” town in southern New Jersey set just outside of Philadelphia, PREIT is adding restaurants as a key element to improving the shopping experience, said Coradino.

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.

PREIT also recently signed Firebirds Wood Fired Grill to open a new location at the mall, its first in southern New Jersey. The chain currently operates 23 restaurants, primarily located in the Eastern part of the country, featuring an indoor stone fireplace, a wine wall and an expansive bar, dubbed a “Firebar.” This restaurant is also expected to open next summer.

A 56,000-square-foot Regal Premium Experience Theater will open at that time as well, as previously announced.

The Corner Bakery has signed a lease to open its first shop in Southern New Jersey shop next summer on an outparcel at the mall. Corner Bakery, alongside the existing Pei Wei restaurant, will offer another fast, casual option to shoppers.

The restaurant leasing momentum has led to 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.

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.