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Market East is the most affordable retail corridor in U.S., report says

But it probably won’t stay that way for very long

BLT Architects

All of the construction work and pedestrian detours up and down Market East have become a part of every day life for Philly folks, but apparently the development boom up and down the corridor hasn’t gone unnoticed on a national level: Market East has just been named the most affordable retail corridor in the U.S.

JLL, a real estate and investment management services company, just released its first-ever City Retail report, which revealed the top affordable and most desirable retail corridors in the country. Market East earned the No. 1 spot in affordability, while Walnut Street was touted as Philly’s “existing prime urban corridor.”

Of Market East, the report noted:

Once home to vacant lots and failed fortress malls, Market East is now attracting large-format retailers looking to tap into the swelling millennial and empty-nester population. Market East’s average asking prime retail rent is $50 [per square foot] with annual rent growth of 25 percent.

Compare those numbers to Walnut Street’s more established corridor across Broad, where retail rent averages $150 per square foot with an annual rent growth of 11.1 percent.

Of course, as the report notes, Market East is still very much in the development stage, so its numbers won’t stay that low for very long. As its two major projects—East Market and the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia—come online, rent real estate prices will undoubtedly skyrocket.

East Market, in particular, has already announced a long list of its anchor tenants for the $600 million redevelopment project that stretches a couple of city blocks. Iron Hill Brewery and Mom’s Organic Market will open their first Center City locations there, and Wawa has signed one of its biggest Philly-based leases, too.