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Bourse Building To Convert Ground Floor Into Upscale Food Hall

The Bourse building in Old City, Philadelphia

The historic Bourse building is getting a facelift, trading in its outdated food court for a trendy food hall.

The Bourse, which opened in 1895 as the United States' first commodities exchange, long served cheap buffet food on its first floor for tourists and office tenants above. But MRP Realty has undertaken a renovation meant to evoke the popular Chelsea Market in New York or Union Market in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Offerings at the food hall will include Indian street food concept Chaat and Chai, Jewish-style eatery Prescription Chicken, and a location for Philly suburbs-based Bluebird Distilling. Baltimore-based Cana Development is managing retail and restaurant leasing at the building.

D.C.-based MRP Realty bought a controlling stake in the Bourse and two nearby buildings at 325 Chestnut St. and 400 Market St. in February of 2016, with the goal of a $40M renovation project to turn all three into Class-A office buildings. The food hall, to be called the Bourse Marketplace, is designed to be an amenity to draw office users to MRP's buildings, but will be open to the public.

The 10-story Bourse will have 250K SF of offices above the marketplace, which will be the second-biggest food hall in the city — after Reading Terminal — when it opens next year. It could kick off a wave of food halls in the city, with similar plans made for the parking garage by FMC Tower and on the first floor of 801 Market St.