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GSA signs $23M lease in historic Strawbridge building offices

The historic building is now 70 percent leased

The federal government is returning to the historic Strawbridge and Clothier building at 801 Market Street.

CoStar Group announced this week that the General Services Administration (GSA) recently inked a $23 million, 10-year lease for the Health and Human Services (HHS) to set up shop on the eighth and ninth floors of the Beaux-Arts style building. The offices will take up 94,704 square feet of space and will be renovated for the HHS.

It’s not the first time the federal government has leased space at 801 Market Street. The GSA first inked a decade-long deal with the building in 2001 for their Mid-Atlantic operations. The government looks for a new space every 10 years.

801 Market Street was built in 1931 for $10 million and served as the Strawbridge and Clothier department store. When it closed 1996, the New York Times had this to say about its architectural significance:

Innovation and tradition merged in the flagship store, built in the 1930's. The original wooden escalators and pneumatic tubes, used to convey messages or send change to customers, were preserved for shoppers to see long after they had been retired.

Today, the 13-story building is owned by developer PREIT and serves as office space for a number of tenants, including the Philadelphia Media Network on the lower levels. PREIT plans to redevelop the ground level space into retail as part of its bigger project to transform the now closed Gallery at Market East into the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia.

With the GSA’s new deal, the building is now about 70 percent leased. The HHS will move into the renovated space in June 2018.