I. Goldberg Hopes To Stay But Is Prepared to Go
The owner of 1300 Chestnut St., once a high-fashion department store for women, is interested in getting more for its money. Pursuant to that, owner PMC Property Group has been shopping the commercial space on its first two floors and its basement to prospective tenants.
The space already has a tenant, however: I. Goldberg, the iconic military surplus store and outdoor outfitter that’s been a Chestnut Street landmark for decades. It landed here when Thomas Jefferson University bought its former location at 902 Chestnut St. in the early 2000s to build a parking garage.
Even as prospective tenants are being paraded through the store, though, owner Nana Goldberg hasn’t given up on staying put, despite reports that rising rents all along Chestnut, not just in I. Goldberg’s space, will mean she has to move.
“We are talking to them, and they are talking to us,” she said. “I’m speaking directly with Adriato Cavanese of PMC Property Group.” She described the negotiations as “not acrimonious.”
Goldberg is aware that possible future tenants have been shown the space, but, she said, “I don’t know who they are, and [none of them] has spoken to me about the space.”
Shaun Lyons, president and CEO of Precision Realty Group, has been showing the space to prospective tenants on behalf of PMC. He said that “national retail tenants are becoming more aggressive on pricing and this neighborhood is a target for expansion” given that “numerous high-end developments and national credit businesses” have been popping up along Chestnut east of Broad. Translation: Businesses with the deep pockets to afford higher rents, such as national chains, will most likely drive out those lacking them such as I. Goldberg. Lyons did not provide names but mentioned that both restaurants and retailers had expressed interest in this location, situated as it is at the corner of an emerging design district and the 13th Street restaurant row in Midtown Village.
Goldberg is aware that the negotiations might not result in a new lease at 1300 Chestnut. If that happens, then I. Goldberg will move again. “I would like to stay in business at any location,” Goldberg said. “This would be our fourth move if we move from this location. I like to call ourselves ‘the wandering Jews.'”
Will I. Goldberg remain a Chestnut Street fixture? Tune in again tomorrow.