The Curtis Center to Get Luxury Apartments, Dining

Maxfield Parrish is the most famous resident at the moment.

The Curtis Center seen from the corner of  6th and Walnut. Image via Google Maps.

The Curtis Center seen from the corner of Sixth and Walnut. Image via Google Street View.

The Curtis Center will be partially converted into apartments by its new owners, the Inquirer’s Joe DiStefano reports. The new owners, Keystone Property Group of Bala Cynwyd, and Mack-Cali Realty Corp. of North Jersey, paid $125 million for the building, which occupies an entire city block and also faces Washington Square.

Keystone and Mack-Cali don’t plan to convert the entire building. Instead, they will convert large chunks of unused space and add restaurants with outdoor seating in a bid to attract younger office tenants to the remaining office space. As the new owners put it in their press release:

The companies purchased the landmark building in an all-cash transaction, with plans to reposition the property into a dynamic, mixed-use environment through the creation of luxury rental apartments within a portion of the existing office space, and an enhanced pedestrian experience along the surrounding streetscape.

To begin, 90,000 square feet of unused space will be converted into 90 apartments, with more to come later if those are well received. The building totals around 885,000 square feet and has its anchor tenant and the United States’ General Services Administration.

Conversions from aging office to residential have taken off in Philadelphia over the last decade. Just a few days ago, we wrote about Alterra Property Group’s plan to give that same treatment to a class B office building just a block from City Hall.