Digital firms lead office revival in Midtown Village

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The Biddle Building at 1217 Sansom St., Philadelphia. (Photo from pernafrederick.com)

Investor Leonard Thylan's 8-story Biddle Building, the newly-updated former jewelry factory at 1217 Sansom in a block of Center City Philadelphia that was prematurely projected as the back end of a Hotel Indigo that didn't happen, has won new life as home to three hopeful young digital-economy companies, totalling 11,200 sq ft and $1.25M/year, with similar tenants in the works, says brokerage PernaFrederick. 

Enterprise-mobility software-maker CloudMine, once a tenant at the Inquirer's digital incubator, is taking the sixth floor: PF's Dan Gummel (well known to N3rd St. tech tenants) rep'd CloudMine. Boutique branding agency At Media is taking half the fourth floor: PF's Joe Viturello and Mike Anderson rep'd them. Ark Ideas, a retailing ad-and-marketing agency, is taking the rest of the fourth floor; Keith Kiner represented landlord and tenant. Another tech and another creative company are in the works for the remaining vacancies, Kiner told me: "The building could be fully occupied by the end of the year." 
  
Midtown Village, best known as a residential neighborhood, "has become an office submarket, all to itself," said Kiner, who previously represented Goldman Properties. He added that the Biddle's high barrel-vaulted masonry ceilings and other historic features appeal to "mid-sized arts, cultural and technology businesses." 

This is not just a cheap alternative to Brandywine Realty Trust's Market Street West towers where rents have been rising lately, Kiner insisted: "I leased 100,000 sq. ft. around the corner at the Phliadelphia Building [and nearby buildings] at rents north of $24 a sq. ft." for Goldman, he told me. "We're getting similar rents at Biddle. This is a demographic, it's a culture, it's these creative loft funky-cool spaces."