Sneak peek at new Century 21 store in Center City

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There was a special sneak peek party on Wednesday for the new 95,000 square foot Century 21 department store at The Gallery.

Shoppers were happy with what they saw but city leaders hope the new store will be more than what meets the eye.

"Philadelphians are going to see a whole new Market Street East," said Alan Greenberger, Philadelphia Deputy Mayor.

The store will be housed in spot where Strawbridge's once stood. The building had been vacant for eight years until now.

"National retailers, have tended in Philadelphia, to be in the suburbs and not in the city but what they are all discovering is the city is hot," said Greenberger.

This location at Market and 8th streets is Century 21's first store outside of metro New York.

"The Philadelphians are fashionable. They know brands, they are fashionistas but they want value," said Eddie Gindi, Century 21 co-owner.

The store, which features name brands at deep discounts, is now the new anchor of the urban mall - The Gallery.

"I live three blocks away so to watch it grow and evolve to what it is becoming is exciting," said Jamie Gonzalez.

It's part of the redevelopment happening on Market Street and Center City, as a Nordstrom Rack is set to open on Friday at 17th and Chestnut streets.

"Huge growth in the population of millennials, the tremendous growth in the residential population downtown and the result of it is that they are all seeing that there is a tremendous market here in Philadelphia," said Greenberger.

Officials say the store brings about 100 new jobs to the city both in construction and in retail.

The new Century 21 will officially open to the general public next Tuesday.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.