U.S. moving 600 from Strawbridge to Rohm

The U.S. Government's General Services Administration is leaving PREIT Real Estate's office complex at 801 Market St. in Center City (the former Strawbridge & Clothier store) moving 600 federal workers to 122,000 sq ft at the former Rohm & Haas headquarters on Independence Mall at 6th and Market, says Dow Chemical, which bought Rohm & Haas three years ago.

Dow had tried to sell the modernist landmark building but found a weak market in Center City, where residential demand is rising but office space, rents and workforce remains stuck at the levels of 10 and 20 years ago. Instead, after cutting hundreds of headquarters jobs, Dow kept the upper floors as offices for the business group that includes the ex-Rohm chemical plants, and put the rest up for lease.

801 Market is still home to the Inquirer, state agencies, and other offices. PREIT has long delayed a plan for renovating the neighboring retail space at the Gallery, where it has tried over the years to get state officials to give it taxpayer subsidies, and to attract high-end retailers and a casino, among other tenants. Dow says it still employs around 2,000 at offices, labs and plants around Philadelphia.