Urban Outfitters to expand at Navy Yard, hire 1,000

Urban Outfitters to expand at Navy Yard, hire 1,000

Urban Outfitters will spend up to $80 million and hire 1,000 employees as part of an expansion of its headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, company and public officials said Wednesday.

In the first phase, the retailer, which sells trendy apparel and home decor, will spend $30 million to acquire and redevelop two buildings, including the former Cruise Terminal, giving it 100,000 additional square feet.

Within three years, it has the option to buy three more buildings, which it would renovate at a cost of $50 million.

Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), which was founded in Philadelphia in 1970 and has been based at the Navy Yard since 2006, has operations in six buildings totaling 282,000 square feet. In the four-plus years it has been at the Navy Yard it has tripled its sales revenue and doubled its work force, said founder Richard Hayne.

“When we moved in here I can tell you there were a great number of skeptics, inside and outside of the company. They said, ‘You’re crazy,’” Hayne said at a press conference at the former Cruise Terminal. “Four-and-a-half years later, we have created the nicest corporate campus in America, I would say with all due humility.”

The company has 1,300 employees at its headquarters. Last year, it had sales of $1.9 billion from its flagship Urban Outfitters stores as well as Anthropologie and Free People brands.

The announcement comes in a week when GlaxoSmithKline said it will move its Philadelphia operations from Center City to the Navy Yard. The pharmaceutical giant will relocate 1,300 employees into a four-story, $81 million building now in the design stages and move in by the end of next year or early 2013, officials said Tuesday.

Since the Navy Yard was decommissioned by the U.S. Navy and transferred to Philadelphia in the mid-1990s, private companies have invested $500 million there, said Peter S. Longstreth, president of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.

Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, Urban Outfitters had invested $140 million at the site. Other major tenants include Liberty Property Trust and Tasty Baking Co.

Urban Outfitters will receive no public subsidies for the expansion.

Read more: Urban Outfitters to expand at Navy Yard, hire 1,000 | Philadelphia Business Journal

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