Last week, the Inquirer’s Michael Klein wrote, “MOM’s Organic Market, a greener-than-thou grocery chain whose locations ring D.C., has signed to open its first Philly-area location. Its Facebook locates it only in ‘Rosemont,’ but insiders pinpoint it further: It will take the former Borders in Rosemont Square.”
We called the ultimate insider, Steve Bajus, founder and president of S.W. Bajus, the real estate development and management company that owns Rosemont Square. He confirmed that Mom’s will be taking 16,000 square feet (just about the same size as the current location of Whole Foods in Wynnewood) in the former Borders store at Rosemont Square.
Screenshot from J. Crew Factory website.
First Madewell–J. Crew’s sister store–chose Walnut Street for its newest location. And now J. Crew Factory–the store’s outlet–comes to the ’burbs.
The commercial real estate group PREIT has announced that the Factory will open at the Plaza Shops at Plymouth Meeting Mall in the fall. Imagine: 6,000 square feet of J. Crew–but less expensive.
The Velvet Lily specializes in some rather spicy merchandise — and we’re not talking about food. Adult aids, pretty lingerie…but while some associate it with sex toys, the Lily takes education and sex-positivity seriously. And after five years, the company was looking for a neighborhood where its message could reach more people than it might on it prior location on Liberties Walk.
Velvet Lily owner/founder Khara Cartagena says, “There’s a lot more going on in the Gayborhood or Midtown Village–I don’t even know what to call it anymore; in New York they call it Midtown Village but I say Gayborhood–there are more interesting restaurants, more interesting shopping. We get closer to the hustle and bustle of hotels.”
Photo: M. Edlow for GPTMC
With so many Center City office buildings turning residential, many small business owners–particularly those in 1616 Walnut Street–have had to make other plans. The future Joan Shepp, one of Walnut Street’s most stalwart fixtures, has been the subject of intense speculation, as it was hard to imagine the store being anywhere else. Shepp herself has been rather downcast about the need to move, but a source tells us that she’s been paying something like $30 per square foot basically since she opened, and it was simply impossible to keep her at a much lower rate than every other tenant now that the building was changing hands.
According to PhillyChitChat, Shepp has finally hit on a new space–featured, appropriately enough, on the Philly-set movie Trading Places–in the Witherspoon Building at Broad and Walnut, quite close to her old shop. Her windows will face onto Walnut Street, and be much more of a showcase than her previous digs. Congrats, Joan.
Photo: Smak Parlour Facebook
The very chic and hip Smak Parlour, headquartered in Old City, recently opened the doors to a pop-up shop at 126 S. 19th Street, formerly home to Skin Palette, and right near the Japanese restaurant Zama. The Smak gals rode around on a pink scooter fliering the neighborhood with news of the store, which–if Facebook comments are anything to go by–has people pretty excited. We’re excited too: Pop-ups are without question the best use of vacant (temporarily or otherwise) property, and this is a perfect fit for Rittenhouse.
A screen shot of a Tokyo Uniqlo
We have it from a very reliable source that the fashion store Uniqlo will be coming to 1608 Chestnut Street in spring 2014.
Walnut Street in 2007. Via Wikipedia.
The Inquirer‘s fashion writer Elizabeth Wellington spoke with longtime Walnut Street style doyenne and shop owner Joan Shepp this weekend about what she’ll do now that she’s being priced out of the store that made the street chic to begin with. While Shepp isn’t sure where she’ll go next (we’ve heard rumblings about Chestnut Street; also, 15th Street), she certainly can’t afford the rent now charged to the “average 2,000- to 2,500-square-foot store…about $22,000 to $34,000 per month.”
In truth, Walnut Street has been expensive for a long time. In 2005, Women’s Wear Daily put it on a list of the most expensive retail streets, and reported that its average rent was $90 per square foot. (It’s now between $130 and $160 per square foot.)
Don Davidow, co-owner of Knit Wit, which moved to Chestnut Street, told Wellington: “Independent, local boutique owners just can’t afford to be on Walnut Street anymore.” And indeed, many of the newcomers are not independent: Intermix, the coming-soon Madewell, Stuart Weitzman, Theory, and potentially J. Crew menswear and C. Wonder.
Photo of 8034 Germantown Avenue courtesy SSH Real Estate.
SSH Real Estate has announced its listing of 8034-8040 Germantown Avenue, a few doors down from Chestnut Hill Pharmacy. It currently houses Prime Pacific Oriental Rug and Furniture Liquidators, as well as the buildings that were once home to the now closed Diane Bryman Rugs, which went out of business in 2012 after 52 years. (Another Oriental [...]
Photo by SameOld2010" via Flickr.