Rag & Bone debuts on high-priced Walnut Street

The 1600 block of Walnut is on the city’s costliest strip of retail real estate.

Rag & Bone, a high-end seller of designer men's and women's clothing, is coming to Walnut Street in Center City, continuing the shopping district's hot retail streak.

The New York City-based brand, known for its jeanswear, plans to move in at 1601 Walnut St., space formerly occupied by BCBG Maxazria, whose lease expired last week.

Walnut from 15th to 17th Streets has emerged as the most expensive strip for retail rents in Philadelphia, commercial real estate brokers said.

The corners of 15th, 16th, and 17th, in particular, "are the most expensive to lease in the city," said Jacob Cooper, managing director at MSC Retail. "The corners on those same blocks on Chestnut are also becoming expensive."

Prices per square foot on Walnut range from $190 to $220 for a corner to $135 to $185 for mid-block. A numbered-street spot can run from $75 to $125.

Final price depends on such factors as ceiling height, storefront visibility, and signage opportunities, Cooper said.

Rag & Bone sells tony goods for the area. Women's skinny jeans can start at $198, while designer sandals and shoes retail for several hundred dollars on the store's website.

"It is an incredibly sophisticated brand that has identified Center City Philadelphia as a growing, young, and affluent market," Cooper said.

Just a few doors away is the site of the new Warby Parker eyewear store at 1523 Walnut, where Le Bec-Fin used to be. Warby Parker plans to open by summer.

"Walnut has steadily been increasing in value over the last 15 years," Cooper said.

But "the sharpest growth in value over the past five years has been on Chestnut, where the larger-format nationals [Five Below, Old Navy, Banana Republic Factory Outlet] have gone, as well as Midtown Village and east of Broad Street."

Larry Steinberg, senior vice president at CBRE Inc., negotiated the Warby Parker deal and the one that brought Nordstrom Rack to 17th and Chestnut.

"Rag & Bone continues a trend on Walnut Street of retailers that offer a more approachable price point than the luxury retailers being replaced," such as Burberry and Coach, he said.

"New additions, such as Warby Parker and Bonobos, support this trend. We call this level of retail luxury light."

sparmley@phillynews.com

215-854-4184@SuzParmley