Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fill This Front: Sharper Image

1518 Walnut

                Here's yet another chronically empty storefront in an awesome-ass building. This space is fucking gigantic and can be used for pretty much any kind of store. Sharper Image was in there, for fuck's sake, so no one else has any damn excuse! This is probably the third or fourth blog post across the local internets written about this spot, but I don't fucking care.
                This bitch-bastard of a storefront is located at 1518 Walnut, a great property at the corner of Walnut Street and South Sydenham Street, right in the middle of Rittenhouse Row, the city's most badass shopping district. Like many gigantofucking spaces of this type, this empty pile of shit started out as a classy banking floor. It was designed by the architecture firm of Hokansen Heacock in the late 1910s for Middle City Bank. The building has been known as the Merlin Building, Middle City Bank Building, Union Bank Building, and was once hilariously named the Allen Rothenberg Building. Just to prove how badass this building is, let me tell you this: Paul Phillippe Cret, one of the greatest architects to wipe his ass in Philadelphia, didn't choose to put his own offices in one of his own buildings, but placed his offices in this one. That's saying something.
              This big-ass empty fuck of a space has held numerous banks over the years, but was most prominent as a branch of Industrial Valley Bank, which managed to fill this space from 1951 to the late 80s.  From 1995 to 2005, this space was Circa, a fancy-ass restaurant/nightclub that took advantage of the coolness of the banking floor and vault.

The space when it was Circa. Photo by Dave Hong.
                After that, the store held a shitty Sharper Image location where they sold a bunch of useless shit that didn't work. I bought some expensive-ass air purifiers from this particular store that did absolutely fucking nothing. What a waste. You owe me, Sharper Image!!! Somehow, that shitstore managed to stay open for multiple years, closing in 2009. After that, the front was always available for lease but ended up being a series of pop-ups. One was a sales office and model for non-existent condos in the ill-fated Waldorf Astoria Hotel Dead-Ass Proposal, another about this time last year was Indochino, some kind of on-line custom-made suit website that opened a brick-and-mortar pop-up store here because they're too fucking cheap to rent the space out for real.
               The space is managed by the Shenian Company, which seems to be having a hard time getting it filled. Therefore, I will help.

Pic of the place from its Loopnet listing.
                 This space, once again, is located at 1518 Walnut Street. It has a total of 4653 square feet. Some of the space is the old banking floor, some is the vault, some is the mezzanine above. This location is one of the most strategically profitable in the city, being on Rittenhouse Row, the city's premiere shopping district. This spot has so much fucking foot traffic that you'll have to move into the place at 4 am just to keep from getting run over by the stampede of humans that are constantly passing through. The location is convenient to so many transit lines that literally hundreds of thousands of people can reach this point without getting into a car. Thousands of people with incomes well over six figures live in the immediate area, along with tens of thousands of daily office workers. If you lease this space, you'll have so many customers that you'll have to employ bums to piss on the sidewalk out front to cool it off to defray from the heat generated by all those feet!
             All this and more can be yours for the low low price of $48,281.25 a month. Wait a minute... $48,281.25 a MONTH? No wonder they can't fill this bastard! Is this how much other Rittenhouse Row stores are paying?!?! Holy Crap!! Well... maybe you can talk the price down a bit, since the place has been empty (besides pop-ups) for five fucking years.
             Anyway, FILL THIS FUCKING FRONT!!!

1 comment:

  1. Wasn't this a club called Walnut Federal in the very early 90's?