This Just In: Vince is Opening on Walnut Street

Photo via Vince.

Photo via Vince.

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….

Details, Renderings of Luxury Apartments at 1616 Walnut


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?

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Walnut Street News: Burberry And Juicy Out; Michael Kors and (Maybe) J.Crew Men’s In


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.


TIAA-CREF: No Tenant Changes to 1619 Walnut Street

1619 walnut street

Screen shot of 1619 Walnut Street via Google Street View.

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.”

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GALLERY: Rescue Rittenhouse Spa’s New Digs

Rescue Rittenhouse Spa

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.”

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Morning Headlines: Former Home of Brasserie Perrier Sells for $18 Million [UPDATED]

1619 walnut street

Screen shot of 1619 Walnut Street via Google Street View.

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.)

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Madewell Opens In Two Weeks

MadewellWalnut gets a new addition on Tuesday, October 15th, with the opening of Madewell, which is heading into Arden B.’s old space. J. Crew’s sister brand debuts on Tuesday with awesome freebies: You’ll get a free polka-dot clutch with each purchase, and the first 100 shoppers will score mystery gift cards (which range from $10 all the way up to $500). Head there on the 15th from 10am to 5pm to check it out and get in on the (free) goodies. Here’s hoping you score one of the $500 gift cards. 1716 Walnut Street. 

Morning Headlines: Joan Shepp Finds a New Spot for Her Eponymous Store

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.

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Trend Piece: Chains Swamping Walnut Street Due to High Rent

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.

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