Since its opening in 1953, Levittown Town Center has undergone a fair share of modifications including five name changes and numerous ownerships. For several decades a highly successful open-air mall, it went downhill in the 1980s. In 1988, the previous owner promised a $20 million renovation that never materialized. Another builder than later took its place but still nothing changed. By 1996, two-thirds of the center was left vacant.
Bucks County, PA, where the center is located, was considering to condemn the mall, and build retail, offices and low-cost housing at a cost of approximately $11 million. But DLC stepped in with a strategic plan for redeveloping and revitalizing the forgotten center, successfully persuading the county to deviate from their original plan.
The demolition and redevelopment process was fraught with numerous challenges. The shopping center needed an extensive environmental cleanup. The site was contaminated with hazardous chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyl, chlorofluorocarbon, lead-based paint, asbestos and more than 30 underground storage tanks and oil-water separators. In addition, building a modern design and layout would require the relocation of six high-pressure water mains that provided water to 16,800 houses in the immediate vicinity.
Identifying and bringing in the right mix of tenants was critical to the center’s renewal. Our approach was to curate an all-new center where every tenant would have their 21st-century prototype while avoiding the center’s history of high turnover and serving the local demographics in the best way possible.
- Transformed a Former Declining Mall into a Brand New 468,675 Square Foot Value Orientated Open-Air Shopping Center
- Raised the Occupancy Rate from Low Point of 30% to 90%
- Curated a 21st Century Tenant Mix for the Local Demographic
- Boosted the Local Economy by Creating About 2000 Jobs
Since its grand reopening in 2009, Levittown Town Center has become a bustling power center with 35 tenants anchored by national powerhouses such as Walmart Supercenter and The Home Depot.
A Complete Makeover: The Levittown Project was an enormous ground-up redevelopment that transformed a former mall into a brand new 468,675 square foot value-orientated open-air shopping center. The process was challenging involving a complete teardown and new vertical construction. DLC seamlessly handled the complex risks of contamination which required extensive due diligence and collaboration with municipal and state governments.
To complete the remediation of the site, DLC entered the PADEP (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection) Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act 2 Program. As the project was an infill development, it involved an extensive array of work ranging from installing new facades and finishes to building new infrastructure and water mains. Another huge win was transforming a vast wasteland of crushed concrete left behind by demolishing the originally shopping center to enable the construction of a 197,000 square foot space for a new anchor, Walmart Supercenter.
While Levittown Town Center was in the middle of the remediation process, The Home Depot later signed a 29-year ground lease with DLC to open on-site, kick-starting the leasing activity. DLC took on the site work, offsite road improvements and infrastructure for The Home Depot.
Pioneering the Outparcel Trend: During the last several years, there has been a noticeable rise in the development of outparcels. DLC was ahead of its time in actively pursuing outparcel development in the 2000s. Given the high visibility of the center which is located at the corner of Route 13 and Levittown Parkway that has over 40,000 vehicles per day pass the center, outparcel development was the perfect way to maximize the potential of the center. DLC also developed standalone parcels for Taco Bell, Arby’s, Firestone, and Wells Fargo in addition to several multi-tenant buildings along the heavily traveled roads surrounding the property.
21st Century Tenant Mix for the Demographics: With a deep understanding of the demographics of the trade area, DLC turned the once defunct shopping mall into a thriving center with a 21st-century line up of great national brands and local favorites that are optimally aligned with the community’s needs. After the grand opening, the occupancy rate of Levittown Town Center jumped up to 90 percent from a low point of 30 percent. The Home Depot, Walmart Supercenter, Ross Dress for Less and Famous Footwear celebrated their grand openings with the center, followed by KFC/Taco Bell, Sonic and Wells Fargo, Sally Beauty, DEB Shops, PCX Clothing Company, Advance Auto Parts, Sleepy’s, AT&T Wireless, Dollar Tree, PetSmart and GameStop. In the following year, DLC celebrated a milestone of the 25th new store opening.
Believing in a positive change that a new Levittown Town Center would bring to the underserved market of Levittown was the driving force behind our commitment. The Levittown Project provided the local economy a boost by creating almost 2,000 jobs. Levittown Town Center proves to be another shining example of DLC Management’s value creation strategies delivering results to communities, clients and customers.
Our approach was to curate an all-new center where every tenant would have their 21st-century prototype. Adam Ifshin Founder & CEO DLC Management Corp.