Will Anthropologie Leave Rittenhouse Square? [UPDATED]

Or can the store keep its sweetheart deal?

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?

Historic jewel at 1801 Walnut could draw $35M [Inquirer]
Primo property on Rittenhouse Square up for sale [Business Journal]