Pearl Properties Buys Another Art Deco Treasure, Plans Old Navy

Pearl Properties has purchased the building that houses the Art Institute of Philadelphia and signed Old Navy to anchor the ground floor retail.

1618 Chestnut

Image via Google Street View

Pearl Properties continues its run of recent activity. The real estate developer has now purchased the beautiful Art Deco building at 1618-22 Chestnut Street, according to a report in The Inquirer, and signed on Old Navy to anchor the lower floors of the building.

The Art Institute of Philadelphia has been a tenant of the property since 1982, and will move its operations to another part of the building.

Old Navy will continue its presence in the The Gallery once construction is complete, and the retail giant will lease almost 24,000-square-feet of space on Chestnut Street in order to open a “flagship” location.

The landmark building was originally built in 1931 as the headquarters for WCAU. It was the first purpose-built radio headquarters in the nation, a distinction that has landed it on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places and National Register of Historic Places.

This isn’t the first Art Deco treasure acquired by Pearl Properties. The developer owns a collection of properties on the 1900 block of Chestnut Street, including the Boyd Theatre. Plans for the retail on Chestnut Street were recently approved by the Historical Commission. However, the proposal for the tower project on the site of the grand auditorium of the Boyd, now mostly demolished, has been withdraw as the developers rework its design.