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Former Lord & Taylor Box At King Of Prussia Mall Lands Convene For Office/Healthcare Conversion

Convene has been lined up for a new space that represents multiple firsts for the flexible office and event space operator.

The external entrance to the former Lord & Taylor department store in the King of Prussia Mall, seen in 2019

Convene will occupy between 25K and 30K SF in the former Lord & Taylor department store at the King of Prussia Mall, which owner HBC Properties and Investments is redeveloping into over 120K SF of office and/or healthcare uses, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

To date, Convene has only opened locations in urban office cores.

HBCPI is a subsidiary of Hudson's Bay Co., which owns the Lord & Taylor brand and much of its real estate. HBC owns a majority ownership stake in Convene.

Lord & Taylor vacated in 2019, but the box it left behind is one of the only pieces of the King of Prussia Mall not owned by Simon Property Group. When finished, it will be the first nonretail component of the 2.7M SF enclosed mall. Though the KoP Mall is owned free and clear of debt and is the best-performing mall in the Philadelphia region, it joins the trend of adding mixed-use components alongside flagging malls fighting to stay relevant.  

HBC has already stripped the core and shell of the two-story property of its retail history. It is waiting until the tenant mix takes further shape to do more interior work, PBJ reports. 

News of the new lease comes less than a month after Convene announced the closure of a location in Chicago and laid off dozens of workers at its New York headquarters. In announcing the layoffs, Convene CEO Ryan Simonetti cited overzealous expansion after the first, most acute phase of the pandemic. 

Convene still has three Chicago locations, as well as 12 in New York, two in Washington, D.C., and one each in San Francisco, Boston and London. The KoP office would represent Convene's third location in the Philadelphia region; its two others are in the business core of Center City.

Representatives for Convene did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Two of Convene's New York locations are within Saks Fifth Avenue stores as a result of a capital infusion from HBC and Ares Management in April that saw Convene absorb HBC's SaksWorks venture. A suburban location in a Greenwich, Connecticut, restaurant was included in that combination before the Convene name replaced that of SaksWorks. It is not listed among Convene's locations.

As for filling the space around Convene, HBC has brought on JLL as leasing agent for the building, which it is rebranding as The Hudson, PBJ reports. It expects the vibrancy of the KoP Mall, one of the largest and most successful indoor malls in the U.S., to be a central selling point.