Saturday, October 5, 2013

Devon Yard

Urban Outfitters is expanding beyond overpriced irony, controversial and sometimes racist merchandise, and triggering the alarm every time I walk out the door.

Seriously, every time. Am I the only one that happens to? I am dark and bearded. Hmm...

But I digress.

URBN, as its parent company is known, is now dabbling in real estate. Perhaps inspired by their own wildly successful redevelopment at the Navy Yard, they're taking their architectural influence beyond the city.

Devon Yards
The corporation has leased the former site of Devon's Waterloo Gardens shopping center and transforming it into a "lifestyle experience" it's dubbed Devon Yards.

Of course I have to reference 30 Rock which aimed a number of digs at Urban Outfitters with its fictional Brooklyn Without Limits, the same show that referred to a nightclub called Canal Yards Project as "hipster nonsense."

Jokes aside it sounds like a pretty cool project. In addition to URBN's own Anthropologie, the shopping center will include a restaurant, garden center, and exercise studio.

Even more exciting, half of the site will be occupied by a three story hotel. Although it won't be an exact replica, URBN developers want to echo the historic Devon Inn of the 1920s.

However, URBN's foray into urban planning pales in comparison to Facebook's. The mind bogglingly successful social networking site is planning the 394 unit Anton Menlo, a mixed use complex with a bike trail straight to the company's headquarters.

Take note, URBN. Philadelphia's Navy Yard is far from complete. Perhaps a mixed use complex in South Philadelphia catering to URBN employees could be in order. Think of the productivity in a corporate tiny-town your staff never needs to leave.

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