Will Anthropologie Leave Rittenhouse Square? [UPDATED]

Or can the store keep its sweetheart deal?

UPDATE: A reliable source tells us that Anthropologie just re-signed, and will, in fact, be staying on.

The circa-1897 Fell-Van Rensselaer building — or as most refer to it, “the Anthropologie building” at 18th and Walnut — was put on the market this summer. At the time, the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni said the estimated price could go as high as $40 million. She also noted that Anthropologie, the upscale Urban Outfitters brand, had a “sweet deal” — $14 per square foot.

Indeed, that's practically cavity-inducing. Jacob Cooper, vice president of MSC, estimates that the market rent for the 25,000-square-foot space on a blended basis -- first, second, and third floors combined --would be between $70 and $90 a foot, particularly considering the nontraditional layout of the property.

Anthro's current lease ends in 2016, at which point a 10-year lease extension kicks in. They might have to renegotiate (in the upward direction) with a new owner, though -- Allan Domb, for example. According to the Inquirer, Domb has put in an offer on the property -- which he calls "a schmuck buy." The brokers say they've had interest from "several" other parties and that a deal is imminent.

If for some reason that lease extension fails to hold up (there's some disagreement on this subject, although this summer a reliable source told us it was pretty solid), don't worry too much about the fate of the building -- or of Center City retail.

MSC's Cooper says that even if it were to be sold to a national real estate fund or similar investment vehicle without ties to Philadelphia -- which he thinks is the most likely scenario if Domb doesn't buy it -- "the design and layout would still attract a high-quality retail use consistent with the luxury retail market of Rittenhouse Square."

Restoration Hardware, anyone?

Historic jewel at 1801 Walnut could draw $35M [Inquirer]
Primo property on Rittenhouse Square up for sale [Business Journal]

  • -

    when i looked at 10 Rittenhouse, the bimbo sales associate from Dranoff said that the views are not guaranteed because someone might by the Anthropologie building and tear it down to build a new tower. I just stared at her.

    • Liz Spikol

      Nah, it can’t be done. It’s a historical property.

      • -

        oh i am well aware. Not only was I shocked by her lack of knowledge, but couldn’t believe she was dumb enough to not realize she could scare people away from buying the place she was selling.

  • CSK

    Really, you want to kick out Anthro for a Restoration Hardware? You must be kidding me.

    • Liz Spikol

      I certainly don’t want to — I was just speculating which store might come in if Anthro left. But see the update above. Sounds like we’ve got nothing to fear.

    • mbsst26

      A Panera flagship store is my unwarranted speculation.

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