The Bourse Building, the grand Beaux-Arts building that sits along Independence Mall, is about to get a $40 million makeover. MRP Realty, a DC-based firm, recently bought a controlling stake in the nation's first commodities exchange and plans to restore the building to its former late 19th-century glory, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jacob Adelman.
The first floor of the 10-story Bourse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, currently serves as a food and retail center catered toward tourists visiting Independence National Historical Park. The upper floors consist of office space. MRP Realty plans to "boost the quality of its ground-floor retail." Think more oyster and cocktail bars.
The Bourse's overhead beams and neoclassical columns will be restored, and its 1980s-era brown and orange tiles replaced with dark wood. Upstairs, the building's offices will be redone with open floor plans, higher ceilings, and exposed brickwork, to appeal to tech companies and other creative users.
In addition, the building will get a new lobby, roof deck, and gym for future office tenants. The design will be led by BLT Architects.
MRP Realty also bought 325 Chestnut St. and 400 Market St. and plans similar restorations.