Bourse owner to begin work on ground-floor dining and drinking hall

Artist's rendering of eating and drinking spaces on the Bourse building's ground floor after planned renovations.

MRP Realty says it's about a month away from starting demolition work on the ground floor of the Bourse building in its plan to transform the Old City space from a dated souvenir marketplace and food court into a “market hall” of high-end dining and drinking stalls.

Washington, D.C.-based MRP is targeting spring 2018 for opening its reimagined space on the first floor of the historic building, the developer's managing director, Charley McGrath, said in an interview this week.

Planned for the roughly 24,000-square-foot area are 32 to 34 stalls, McGrath said. The developer already has letters of intent from tenants for about 70 percent of that space, he said, declining to identify any prospective tenants by name.

The company is in the midst of $40 million in improvements to the Bourse – including work on its upper-story offices – and two nearby midcentury office buildings that it holds in a venture with Philadelphia's Kaiserman Co., the properties' previous sole owner.