1619 Walnut Street, home for 12 years to Brasserie Perrier, is smack dab in the middle of Rittenhouse Row, a stretch of Walnut that was — not long ago and more than once — compared to King of Prussia for its retail-centric real estate and open arms to chain stores.
Now one of the least fashion-oriented companies in the U.S. — financial services group TIAA-CREF — has purchased the building (which is anchored on the ground floor by Ulta Beauty Supply) for around $18 million, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.
As of press time, TIAA-CREF has not responded to call for comment on planned use for the building; the company has one other Center City location at 1835 Market Street and has not publicly announced a plan to vacate. (An employee at the Market Street location said there were no plans to move at this time.)
If the building is used as an office, as one would expect from TIAA-CREF — they’re probably not going to sell high-end sneakers — that should reassure real estate watchers who wring their hands over downtown Philadelphia losing its business-center cachet. Not everyone is moving to the Navy Yard, guys. It’s going to be okay.
On the other hand, the cafeteria food won’t be nearly as good as the one-time offerings at Brasserie Perrier.
UPDATE 11/14, 10:59 a.m.: TIAA-CREF has returned our call and will be providing more information on the building’s future usage shortly.
Rittenhouse Row building sells for a reported $18M [BizJournal]
• Student editorial: “The quality of Penn housing is sorely lacking” [DP]
• Liberty Property Trust wants out of South Jersey and Fort Washington [Biz Journal]
• Why did Wynn leave? “He wants Boston worse than Philadelphia” [Inquirer]
• Philadelphia City Council Takes On Demolitions [CBS 3]
• Impostor Landlord Rents Out Someone Else’s Home [Gawker]