The folks over at Racked Philly just reported that Calypso St. Barth is set to open on Walnut Street before the end of the month. The women’s brand is known for its luxury resort-style wear (read: lots of flowy, colorful pieces) and it’s reported that the store will also stock an array of exotic home furnishings. We just perused the brand’s website and their pseudo-bohemian looks have us seriously excited.
Last December the Philadelphia Business Journal reported that Toll Brothers Inc. was interested in the long-vacant — loooong vacant — property at 1911 Walnut Street. The luxury homebuilder’s plans for the undeveloped site included a 50-story tower for condos and hotel and retail space, which made sense for Rittenhouse Square.
Except now, they’ve pulled out.
Before property owners considered modern loft-like office spaces with the enthusiasm they do today, there was Chuck Block. Five years ago, the manager of the Bedrock Group bought the eight-story former Rosenbluth building at 24th and Walnut and gutted it with the intention of creating untraditional, open office spaces.
The results of $10.5 million job for the 160,000-square-foot, Schuylkill-side building were an open floor plan, high ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows for an abundance of natural light; exposed ceilings and polished concrete floors for an industrial look; and green roof, cistern, and other sustainable design elements for LEED certification.
The folks over at Racked Philly just confirmed those pesky rumors that’s we’ve been hearing for some times now: Vince is coming to Walnut Street. Slated for a summer 2014 opening, the brand will be moving into the corner lot at 1701 Walnut Street currently occupied by Juicy Couture.
What to expect: updated classics in timeless shades (their spring collection has a ton of beige and navy). Their pieces transition seamlessly from work to play with shift dresses and silky minimalist blouses (read: perfect for summer). As one co-worker puts it, it’s all the classics—but better.
Welcome to the neighborhood, Vince. Now about that buttery soft leather moto jacket you’ve got out for spring….
The exquisite Art Deco onetime-commercial building at 1616 Walnut Street will, by April, be the exquisite Art Deco now-residential building called ICON (all caps, it seems) — 206 luxury apartments, 160 parking spaces and the 23,000 square feet of retail space that was there already.
The apartments will range from studios to three-bedrooms, with penthouses on the 23rd and 24th floors, and advertised “300 degree skyline views.”
The amenities are tied in to the fact that these are WELL (all caps, it seems) Signature Residences, powered by Delos (board member: Leonardo DiCaprio), which is a company that specializes in wellness real estate. What does this mean to the tenant?
Our friends over at Racked Philly have just broken news that once Burberry closes its doors this Saturday, Michael Kors will be taking its place at 1705 Walnut Street. They got word from Larry Steinberg, president of the Rittenhouse Row Merchant’s Association (so, we trust him). The brand will take up both floors and a spring 2014 opening is expected. Racked also speculated that the Juicy Couture on 17th and Walnut will make the switch to a J.Crew Men’s standalone (this is no doubt thanks to the success of sister store Madewell). Rumor is rumor, but we can’t help but cross our fingers.
Yesterday we wondered what TIAA-CREF might do with 1619 Walnut Street, which it recently purchased for around $18 million. We thought perhaps the company itself would occupy some part of the building, but a broker contact who wanted to remain anonymous disagreed: “I’m pretty sure they bought this as an investment vehicle for their retirement portfolio, not to occupy. The whole building is leased.” And, he said, TIAA-CREF does have a substantial portfolio of retail real estate.
His hunch was correct. A TIAA-CREF spokesperson got back to us yesterday to provide this official comment, “TIAA-CREF plans to maintain the current mix of office and retail tenants at 1619 Walnut Street.”
Speaking of Walnut Street retail, the Medical Arts Building at 1601 has a new tenant: Rescue Rittenhouse Spa, which was previously in the Medical Tower Building (confusing, yes). This is, apparently, a very big deal in the world of beauty. As Shoppist editor Emily Goulet puts it, Rescue’s relocation “is akin to the moving of the Barnes.” Wow.
The new space was designed in partnership with Fishtown-based art curator Eileen Tognini. Rescue owner Danuta Mieloch told Goulet:
“My vision was to have a place in the city where you can relax and unwind while being surrounded by beautiful things. We’ve commissioned local artists and furniture-makers to make Rescue a truly unique experience—not just a place to receive treatments but a place to escape.”
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.)