Morning Headlines: Slow Start on Walnut Street Paid Off

A story about sticking to your guns.

Photo credit: Google Street View

Photo: Google Street View

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 goal was to attract tenants who appreciated going green and collaboration-oriented spaces, but according to Natalie Kostelni at the Philadelphia Business Journal, finding these like-minded occupants had a slow start. In order to keep the LEED certificate, Block placed rules for tenants to follow:

  • No carpeting in high-foot traffic common areas and corridors.
  • Tenants were encouraged to leave the perimeter exposed and views intact — either with open common area space or glass walls allowing views from interior space.
  • Limited or no use of dropped ceilings — leaving original concrete ceilings and concrete columns as well as exposed duct work.

These requirements meant passing up potential tenants who did not want to conform, but Block felt it was worth the temporary loss because, as he put it, “It may have been better financially for the building if we had taken those tenants but I was taking a longer view instead of a shorter view.”

Indeed, 2401 Walnut is now close to fully leased.

2401 Walnut St. once stood vacant but is now nearly full [Philadelphia Business Journal]

In other news…

Large Concrete Beam Falls from Center City High-Rise [NBC10]

Philly gets $525,000 for pedestrian safety efforts [PlanPhilly]

Taking On The G-Word In G-town [Hidden City]

Deadline is extended for developers of Liddonfield site [Northeast Times]