D.C. firm buys controlling stake in the Bourse, plans $40M renovation
February 2, 2016

MRP Realty is placing a big buy order on Philadelphia's original trading floor, the Bourse building.

America's first formal commodities exchange is the main draw in a package of buildings in which the Washington developer acquired a controlling stake Monday.

MRP's plans for the 10-story Bourse include higher-end dining and cocktails on the ground floor, with the offices above revamped into what it hopes will be some of the city's most enticing workspaces.

The renovations are part of $40 million in improvements to be made to the Bourse and two nearby midcentury office buildings that MRP now possesses in a venture with Philadelphia's Kaiserman Co., the properties' previous sole owner.

"It's a huge, old, beautiful relic," MRP managing director Charley McGrath said of the 121-year-old Bourse. "When you can find buildings to renovate like this, it's exciting."

The Bourse is the latest office building to change hands over the last few years in the ring of architectural gems that surround Independence National Historical Park.

The buildings, which also include the 1927 Public Ledger building and the midcentury Dow building, are vying to attract high-paying tenants to the Independence Mall area.

It's a neighborhood that's been seeing higher rents as new owners lure bigger-name tenants with renovations, said Jay Joyce, managing director in Philadelphia for commercial brokerage Savills Studley...

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