As the neighborhood centered around one of Philadelphia’s oldest and most popular town squares, Rittenhouse Square pulses with a vibrant, historic energy. High-rise buildings, boasting some of the nation’s top-tier apartments, elegantly overlook quaint buildings fashioned in the Italianate and Art Deco styles of eras past.
Although bustling Chestnut Street runs through its borders, Rittenhouse feels decidedly removed from the chaos of city life. Indeed, it provides respite for urban denizens, many of whom relish a moment’s escape amid the leafy trees and treasured statues that line the park. The area’s convenient locale has rendered it popular with businesses who are seeking proximity to the Central Business District. It’s also suitable for law firms in need of quick access to the city’s nearby courthouses.
Businesses who choose to rent Rittenhouse Square office space will count as their new neighbors the latest building from PMC Property Group, at Market and 23rd streets; Rittenhouse Row, the neighborhood’s own marketing and event management firm; and the architectural treasure that is Philadelphia City Hall.
Rittenhouse Square Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
Right now may just be the best time to rent premium office space in this highly coveted pocket, commonly cited as one of the country’s finest urban neighborhoods. The average asking rent for Class A office space around Rittenhouse Square is approximately $31 per square foot, compared to around $28 per square foot for office space in a Class B building. Asking rents vary depending on a variety of factors, including building quality (age, amenities, class, etc), lease term, and location.
Most businesses can find Rittenhouse Square office space at more affordable prices than equivalents in University City or South Philadelphia and the Navy Yard. The submarket rent prices are similar to those found in Center City.
What Our Brokers Say About Rittenhouse Square Office Space for Rent
Rittenhouse Square packs a lot into its diminutive seven acres, and the surrounding area is no different. But rather than alienate visitors with a sense of hubbub, the Rittenhouse neighborhood manages to reflect the park’s welcoming energy. Warm weather inspires decorated eateries, such as Parc and Tria Cafe, to open up their sidewalks – creating the perfect setting for lunch meetings, or hosting post-work events.
Come winter, lines queue at coffee shops like Rival Bros. and Parliament as snow lands on the rows of trees in the park. And year-round, shoppers flock to the unassuming combination of upscale boutiques and eclectic stores that comprise Rittenhouse Row. Locally-owned retailers, such as Skirt and Kiki Hughes, thrive alongside global branches, like the stores found inside The Shops at Liberty Palace. Overall, there’s something quintessentially European about this historic neighborhood.
Luckily, Rittenhouse is a much closer commute for residents than would be Paris or London. Office goers have the option of taking SEPTA to nearby Suburban Station (a 10-minute walk), which services all SEPTA Regional Rail trains. PATCO is close as well, at the 15/16th & Locust Street Station. The square is easily reached by car, too, thanks to the nearby Schuylkill Expressway. As with so many of Philly’s neighborhoods, bikes are welcome in Rittenhouse, thanks in part to the nearby Schuylkill River Trail. And for those who prefer to traverse by foot, the area holds an impressive 99 score in walkability from WalkScore.
With everything the area has to offer, commuters will likely want to stick around outside of work, too. The square hosts one of the city’s biggest farmers’ market, at 18th and Walnut, every Saturday year-round. And seasonal events – like the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival, the annual Christmas tree lighting, and a century-old flower show – draw thousands of visitors to this scenic little square.
Get to Know Rittenhouse Square
In the time since its 17th-century inception as one of William Penn’s original five squares, Rittenhouse has come to connote prestige – there’s a reason Marilyn Monroe’s social-climbing character references it in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Formerly dubbed (for its coordinates) Southwest Square, the park was re-christened in 1825 to honor native son and famed astronomer, David Rittenhouse. Shortly thereafter, the city’s elite began moving to the neighborhood, contributing a heritage of stately residences to the area.
Today, the original mansions that once faced the square have mostly given way to apartments and cultural establishments. Among the many touted locales are the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA), the University of the Arts, and the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, all of which offer public showings and events on a regular basis. An expansive history of medical oddities is on display at the nearby Mütter museum, and two 19th-century townhouses come to well-preserved life at the Rosenbach Museum and Library on Delancey Place.
Neighborhood Maintenance and Revitalization
In 1976, the Friends of Rittenhouse – a nonprofit whose office overlooks its eponymous responsibility – was created to ensure preservation of the square. That maintenance and conservation of the park is overseen by residents, rather than the government, is testimony to the deep pride Philadelphians feel for this cultural landmark. Of all the city’s original squares, residents avow that Rittenhouse has fared the prettiest. Its biggest aesthetic development took place in 1913, when a French architect, Paul Philippe Cret, was commissioned to redesign certain parts of the park to emulate Paris and the French Gardens. Over 100 years later, Cret’s conceptions – including park railings, pools, and fountains – have come to be synonymous with the park itself.
In its 300-plus years of existence, the square has been home to successful merchants, upscale hotels, and storefronts of contemporary enterprises such as Warby Parker and Anthropologie. But despite these changes, one constant remains: This small area is one of the most desirable, in-demand nooks for businesses and residents alike in the City of Brotherly Love.