Friday, December 26, 2014

Walgreens (with sushi) cleared for Center City Borders space

Zoning approved

Walgreens (with sushi) cleared for Center City Borders space

A proposed "flagship Walgreens" store modeled on similar stores on New York's Wall Street and Chicago's Michigan and State has won city zoning approval for the three-story, 26,000 square foot former Borders bookstore, NE corner, Broad and Chestnut Sts. (1 South Broad) in Center City, says Larry Steinberg, the real estate broker who runs Fameco's Center City office.

As with Marshall's recent decision to lease a vacant Staples at 1046 Market, the move marks another mass-market chain's expansion in Center City, an aging office center that's increasingly popular as a residential neighborhood. 

"It'll have a pharmacy, all right, but also takeout salads, sushi, a wellness center where you can see a physician, a nail salon, maybe a hair salon," Steinberg told me.

"They're providing as many services as we can to get you into the space and suport their pharmacy and drugstore operation on the third floor." Walgreens hopes to open the store this fall, hiring "a lot of people," he added.(See Walgreen's floor plan proposal.)

The city already feels thickly sewn with CVS and RiteAid outlets. But Walgreens isn't planning to consolidate any of its own into the "flagship" store. "Walgreens is understored in Center City," Steinberg said.

Yesterday's approval by the Board of Zoning Adjustment followed at least seven months of talks with the Washington Square West Civic Association, deputy mayor for economic development Alan Greenberger, and the city Planning Commission in which Walgreens promised to limit the use of signs in its windows.


Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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