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?