Back in 1976, Urban Outfitters moved to this space, after outgrowing their original location at 4307 Locust Street. According to this old story from the Daily Pennsylvanian, Urban moved out of the building in 1997. Over the past fifteen years, the warehouse has held a number of tenants in various commercial spaces, including a video store, a comic book shop, a short-lived all-ages rock venue, the campus Kosher dining hall, and most recently, a mediocre bowling alley bar.
Now, an early-stage venture fund is taking over the large 10,000 sqft space, and ostensibly removing all the bowling lanes. They’ll be joining Keswick Cycle, a bike shop that’s already operating out of the building, and the soon-to-open Ramen Bar, a boozy noodle place that’s set to open this month. Across the street, dozens of students will soon be descending upon their off-campus rentals, before you can say “keg stand.”
Along with First Round Capital, previously based in Conshohocken and with offices in New York and San Francisco, the building will also house First Round companies Curalate and Uber, along with a small Technically Philly office. Considering the proximity to the Wharton School (can you imagine the number of internship applications?), as well as the University City Science Center, this move seems to make plenty of sense for all parties. As exciting as it is to see a new chapter for this building, it’s even better to see Philadelphia attract a top company to do business here. Could a recently enacted tax break for private investment funds that played a role in attracting First Round to West Philly do the same for other businesses like them? We’ll just have to wait and see.