Philadelphia Mills

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Philadelphia Mills
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Coordinates 40°05′14″N 74°57′42″W / 40.0873°N 74.9616°W / 40.0873; -74.9616Coordinates: 40°05′14″N 74°57′42″W / 40.0873°N 74.9616°W / 40.0873; -74.9616
Opening date May 11, 1989
Developer Mills Corporation
Management Simon Property Group
Owner Simon Property Group
No. of stores and services 200
No. of anchor tenants 4
Total retail floor area 1,776,000 square feet (165,000 m2)[1]
No. of floors 1
Parking Parking lot
Public transit access Bus transport SEPTA bus: 20, 50, 67, 84, 129, 130
Website Official website

Philadelphia Mills (formerly Franklin Mills) is an enclosed shopping mall located in Northeast Philadelphia, bordering Bensalem in Bucks County and 15 miles (24 km) outside Center City.[2] Formerly named for Benjamin Franklin, the mall houses 200 stores, a movie theatre, two food courts, and seven theme restaurants[3] and was visited by an estimated 18 million people in 2006.[4]

Opened in 1989, Franklin Mills was the second built and formerly owned by the Mills Corporation and is now managed by the Simon Property Group.[5] Along with King of Prussia Mall, Simon has control of Pennsylvania's two largest malls.

On September 16, 2014, Simon Property Group renamed the mall from Franklin Mills to Philadelphia Mills.[6]


The Philadelphia Mills site was formerly home to Liberty Bell Park Racetrack.[7] It is located approximately one mile west of Interstate 95, at the intersection of Woodhaven Road (Pennsylvania State Route 63) and Knights Road.

Branding and design[edit]

Interior view of Philadelphia Mills

Philadelphia Mills mall is designed in the shape of a thunderbolt in commemoration of Benjamin Franklin's kite-and-key experiment. The mall's former logo from when it was called Franklin Mills included a red kite with a lighting bolt on the right side and the string ending on the letter "A" of "FRANKLIN". The mall is separated by its four Neighborhoods: Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green, and has six main entries including its neighborhood color entries, plus Aqua at the Grand Court and the Orange entry in its Green Neighborhood near the former Steve & Barry's. There are also entries at either side of the AMC 14 theater for moviegoers after mall hours.

The mall is the first Mills mall to have two food courts. "Cafe Court" is at Red Neighborhood 1 and is anchored by GAP. "Cafe Freedom" is a larger food court at Green Neighborhood 4, and as of early 2016, "Cafe Freedom" was renamed as "Dining Pavilion" and has undergone renovations. The mall once had graphics, usually hanging from the ceiling, but in the later years, they were removed. The mall also previously had two video courts, one was removed in the 2000s, and the other one which was removed in August 2014.[8]From the mall's opening until 2012, a sculpture of Benjamin Franklin's Face was located at the Grand Court between Neighborhoods Blue & Yellow. Almost all main mall entries have a graphic at its entry. Throughout the mall, there are several sets of projection TVs hanging from the ceiling known as "Mills TV", showing video loops of music videos and advertisements, as of the early 2010s however, They were eventually replaced by double-faced Daktronics LED boards.[9]

The 1,600,000-square-foot (150,000 m2) mall consists primarily of factory outlet stores.[3] As of November 2011, the surviving major anchor tenants included Marshalls and Burlington. When the mall first opened in 1989 the original anchors were JCPenney; Sears; Ports of the World, Reading China and Glass, and Phar-Mor.[10][11] Over time, the Ports was re-branded as Boscov's, and was later replaced by Steve & Barry's, before the location became vacant. Reading China & Glass closed and its building was split between Marshalls and OfficeMax. Sears left the mall for the first time and was replaced by General Cinema, itself acquired by AMC Theatres. OfficeMax later left the mall, and Sears returned taking the OfficeMax space. Original stores remaining in the mall include Bed, Bath and Beyond & Modell's, which have been joined by Forever 21, Last Call, H&M, & Off 5th, among others. As of November 29, 2011, 3 of the mall's 5 main anchors were vacant. On December 15, 2011, it was announced that JCPenney would be returning to the mall as a department store, in its original location, the outlet store had been closed as part of a nationwide realignment by the retailer of all its outlet stores.[12] On March 17, 2017, it was announced the JCPenney store would be closing as part of a plan to close 138 stores nationwide; the store will close by June 2017.[13]

Mall anchors[edit]

Department Stores & Anchors[edit]

Former Department Stores & Anchors[edit]

  • Steve & Barry's - opened 2006, entire chain closed 2009
  • Boscov's - closed 2006, replaced by Steve & Barry's
  • Phar-Mor - opened 1989, closed 2002
  • Ports of the World - opened 1989, later renamed to its parent company's name Boscov's
  • Rainforest Cafe (Opened on November 27, 1998; Closed in 2001)
  • Reading China & Glass - opened 1989, closed 1990[14]

Mall entrances[edit]

During the mall's tenure as Franklin Mills, each entrance has a tall, pyramid-like tower with a kite in the middle, anchor store names listed on each side arch (became fully colored in recent years) and a graphic hanging at the middle arch of each entrance, as listed below. For the remodeling into Philadelphia Mills, the former entrances were closed, starting with the orange entrance and their former pyramid-like facades torn down with their modern entrances built in their place. For Philadelphia Mills, the towers are replaced with a modern structure with the entrance color in the middle bar, along with improved lighting and landscaping.

Orange entrance from when mall was called Franklin Mills
  • Red: Liberty Bell (Entrance replaced as of Late 2014)
  • Blue: a cloud with a Lightning Bolt
  • Aqua: (Entrance replaced as of Late 2014), new entrance is green.
  • Yellow: a key with string (a nod to Franklin's lightning experiment)
  • Orange: an ink cup for its feather pens (Entrance replaced as of Summer 2014)
  • Green: a bald eagle (its entry no longer has a kite), removed as of early 2014.
  • AMC 14 entries on both sides of the theater, accessible after mall hours

Adjacent stand-alone stores[edit]

Stand-alone stores adjacent to the main mall include:

In addition, there is a neighboring strip mall called Franklin Marketplace (formerly the Home & Design Center), which includes:

  • Big Lots (previously Hechinger)
  • Dollar Tree
  • Harbor Freight Tools
  • Brightwood Career Institute higher-education campus
  • Bethel, The Church @ Franklin Mills, a non-denominational church (located in the former General Cinema Franklin Mills 10 Theatre)


  1. ^ "Philadelphia Mills Fact Sheet" (PDF). Simon Property Group. Retrieved January 19, 2017. 
  2. ^ ""Simon: Franklin Mills." Accessed July 20, 2007.". Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b ""Franklin Mills Mall." Accessed July 20, 2007.". Philadelphia - Official Visitor Site - Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Van Allen, Peter. "Franklin Mills Mall lines up as major tourist destination." Accessed July 20, 2007.". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Simon: Find a Mall." Accessed July 20, 2007.
  6. ^ Bayliss, Kelly (September 16, 2014). "Franklin Mills Changing Name to Philadelphia Mills". Philadelphia: WCAU-TV. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  7. ^ ""Cinema Treasures: Franklin Mills 14." Accessed July 20, 2007". Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Franklin Mills - Philadelphia, PA New Daktronics led boards - East Rutherford & Bradley Beach, New Jersey". East Rutherford & Bradley Beach, New Jersey. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  10. ^ David M. Giles (May 7, 1989). "A Mall To End Them All New Franklin Mills Is Largest Outlet Mall". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ Richard C. Halverson (June 5, 1989). "Nation's largest off-price mall opens in NE Philadelphia - Franklin Mills shopping Center". 
  12. ^ Maria Panaritis (December 15, 2011). "J.C.Penneyplans to open a department store at Franklin Mills". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  13. ^ "J.C. Penney closing local stores; includes King of Prussia". Philadelphia, PA: WPVI-TV. March 17, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  14. ^

External links[edit]