Skip to main content Skip to footer

Larry Steinberg Talks How Philly's High Street Retail Corridor May Get Slammed With Vacancies In 2020


The stretch of Walnut Street west of Broad will likely experience a rash of closures due to flagging performance and/or expiring leases, multiple retail brokers told Bisnow. While some landlords are looking forward to the opportunity to revamp long-occupied spaces and fill them with tenants more relevant to current trends, the turnover will be disruptive near term, and potentially damaging long term. 

“It will absolutely affect traffic on the street and sales,” Colliers International Senior Managing Director Larry Steinberg said. “This is why in a shopping center, a lot of retailers have clauses in their leases that if anchors or certain other stores go dark, their rent changes or they have the option to leave.” 

The 1700 block of Walnut Street in particular will have several stores vacating their properties in 2020 — adding to the closures of second-floor nightclub Coda and fast-fashion brand Zara in the past year. On the building that once housed Coda and has Wells Fargo on the ground floor, a sign has recently gone up advertising the entire building for lease, Steinberg said. 

Chestnut Street has been gaining in popularity in recent years, especially for food and beverages this year, to the point where many consider it a part of Philly's "high street." A Center City District report that included both Chestnut and Walnut streets between Broad and 20th streets pegged the high street vacancy rate at 5.9% as of Q2 last year.

Read More at Bisnow

Related Experts

Larry Steinberg

Senior Managing Director


Laurence Steinberg joined Colliers in April 2019 to lead and further grow the Urban Retail division in Philadelphia. Larry has an extensive 25-year plus career in commercial real estate that includes development, consulting and brokerage. Prior to joining Colliers, Larry headed up the Retail group at Rittenhouse Realty Advisors (RRA), served as an Executive Vice President with CBRE (FAMECO), a Principal of Michael Salove Company, and as a Partner in L.S. Powell Company, where he developed over one million square feet of commercial real estate.

For over a decade, Larry has brokered deals with acclaimed restaurateurs, premier restaurant chains and national retailers in the Philadelphia area. He has represented Morton’s Steakhouse for all of their Philadelphia and surrounding area locations, including their highest grossing unit at Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City. Larry has worked closely with Philadelphia restaurant luminaries such as Stephen Starr, Jose Garces, Marc Vetri, Kevin Sbraga, Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov.

Larry’s retail presence can be seen throughout Center City. He was successful in bringing national retailers to Philadelphia such as H&M, The North Face, Cole Haan and West Elm. Recent noteworthy transactions include the first Target store in Center City and deals for Warby Parker, Theory, Madewell, Under Armour, a 26,000 square foot Walgreens flagship store, and a 40,000 square foot Nordstrom Rack.

In addition to leasing, Larry has brokered the sale of important retail properties, including nine buildings along Walnut Street in Rittenhouse Square. Most recently he represented the Seller for the sale of 1330 Chestnut Street, 1529 Walnut Street, and 1700 Chestnut Street.

View expert