Headlines: Walnut Street’s Art Deco “Icon” Has Been Sold

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One of Philly’s standout examples of Art Deco architecture, the majestic Icon 1616 at 1616 Walnut Street, has been sold for some big time money. According to Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal, “the $112 million price tag is considered huge at more than $540,000 a unit. The building has 23,000 square feet of fully leased retail space and 160 parking spaces.”

The building was owned by a trio of companies, including Alterra Property Group, Cross Properties and Federal Capital Partners. The buyer, Kostelni says, “is an investor from New York.”

Icon kind of changed the rental game when it reopened in 2014. Not only did it offer luxurious residential and building amenities, but it also partnered with Delos to offer Philly’s first WELL Signature suites program with Vitamin-C infused showerheads, black out curtains, aromatherapy and the Stay Well mobile phone app. (Hey, if it’s good enough for Leo DiCaprio, it’s good enough for us.)

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Architype: Well Built

1616 Walnut - from Architype Well Built

1616 Walnut’s model units were designed with bold strokes by Floss Barber Inc.
Photograph by Daniel Cox.

I went to NBC 10’s website recently and was met with this headline: “450-Pound Man Hid Marijuana in Stomach Fat.” I didn’t read on — it lacked the element of surprise — but given the combo of obesity and creative problem-solving, I assumed the man was from Philly.

He’s actually from Volusia County, Florida, which made me realize I still have that retrograde notion of our city as a fat, unhealthy place. In the past few years, though, the city has experienced a health and fitness boom that’s radically changed its rep. And now one of Center City’s highest-profile commercial-to-rental conversions — 1616 Walnut — has an entire “wellness floor” with units geared to health-conscious Philadelphians.

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Opening Party for Icon 1616 Apartments


The ICON 1616 apartments opened with great fanfare on Tuesday night. The party at 1616 Walnut Street featured flappers welcoming guests to the newly renovated 25-story apartment building (it was built in 1929), songs from the enchanted era sung by Jessy Kyle, and small-plate dishes by Brulee catering.

Over the years the building has housed the offices of a few of Philly’s well heeled, then in the aughts it housed Temple University’s Center City campus. In 2013 it underwent a $50 million redevelopment with 220 luxury smoke-free apartments, a sky deck, gym, media and billiards room, bike storage, 160 parking spaces and 23,000 square feet of retail, which includes a Theory clothing store, Santander bank and Town Home jewelry store.

Now it’s ready for residents who want amenities and close proximity to many of the most desirable stores in the area as well as Rittenhouse Square.

Opening Party for Icon 1616 Apartments »

PHOTOS: We Got a Sneak Peek at Icon 1616

Last night, the new Icon 1616 luxury apartment building invited G Philly to host an intimate sneak peek at some of its living spaces. I invited a few well-dressed friends, and we sipped wine and champagne, enjoyed some nibbles from Brûlée Catering, and browsed through some of the units, which were staged by local interior designers Floss Barber, Carrie Leskowitz, and Carole Roach. Below, some photos from the evening.

The space will open to the public on for an Interior Design Showcase and Sweeps Open House on Saturday, May 31st. For more information, visit icon1616.com.