Press Release

Expansive $15 Million Renovation Repositions Philadelphia’s 1600 Market Street As Innovative and Engaging Workplace

February 23, 2021

Playful pop art and sophisticated wellness-oriented design come together to
 reinvent a Center City business landmark

(Philadelphia –February 23, 2021) Real estate leader American Real Estate Partners (AREP) has completed a $15 million renovation of Philadelphia’s Center City office landmark at 1600 Market Street. Since acquiring the 39-story office tower in 2018, AREP has advanced its commitment to creating places that go beyond the expected by incorporating whimsical art and bold contemporary design cues into a flexible, experiential business environment unlike any other in Philadelphia.

“AREP has repositioned a 1980’s building at 1600 Market, transforming it into a luminous, cutting-edge workplace—a celebration of innovation and invention that also honors Philadelphia’s historic character,” said Doug Fleit, CEO of AREP. “Art was foundational in the transformation, and by seamlessly pairing it with 2021 workplace standards, our team was able to reinvent the workplace experience to reflect and connect customers with the city.” 

In partnership with AREP, Collective Architecture has designed a fresh and energetic workplace. 

“One of the hallmarks of the design is its flexibility. Our goal with the renovations and our ongoing management of 1600 Market is to create a dynamic workplace with an electric energy where productivity is elevated and where people feel comfortable and confident—in short, we have created a unique place where Philadelphians want to be,” said Paul Schulman, Principal & Chief Operating Officer of AREP.

The building’s identity is defined by a herculean illuminated sculpture of the number “1600” adjacent to the front entrance. The re-imagination of the 40-year-old, 825,968 SF office building features 8,000 SF of amenities encompassing state-of-the-art collaboration space, conference rooms, wellness and fitness areas, and coffee bar from multi-award winning local favorite, Elixr. In the future, a new restaurant with outdoor seating will round out the dining experience that 1600 offers.

The expansive white marble lobby engages passersby with a cascading chandelier with over 2000 color-shifting LED’s that complement the bold and colorful sculpture of “Willy,” a yellow fox holding a red balloon paying homage to the building’s location that once was the site of the historic Fox Theater. Commissioned by AREP, the sculpture was fabricated by the atelier of the late Seward Johnson, a beloved local artist whose work can be found throughout Philadelphia, in New York’s Times Square and Rockefeller Center, Pacific Place of Hong Kong, Les Halles in Paris, and Via Condotti in Rome. 

Pop art punctuates the second-floor amenity space, celebrating local icons from Betsy Ross to Kobe Bryant (whose childhood home was outside Philadelphia). The portraits of Ross, Bryant, William Penn, Commodore Barry, Ben Franklin, Quest Love and Pink honor Philadelphia personalities past and present and energize a sleek tapestry of wood and marble finishes. 

“From the moment you step in to 1600 Market, you know you’re in a very different kind of office environment; one that celebrates creativity, history and people who do great things,” said Alex Hurtado, Owner & Principal of Collective Architecture.

To meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, protocols and standards at 1600 Market have been enhanced. Among them: 


Headquartered in the greater Washington metropolitan area, AREP is an institutional fund manager, and operating partner focused on office and mixed-use repositioning and development throughout the Greater Mid-Atlantic Region. AREP's vertically integrated real estate platform provides best-in-class expertise in all ownership disciplines, from property management and building operations to investment strategy, market research, and acquisitions. By leveraging this expertise AREP remains at the leading edge of real estate innovation, maximizing building performance to provide real value.

Everything AREP does is in service of elevating customer experience. Wellness is a portfolio-wide priority, which AREP is proud to be one of the first UL customers to achieve UL’s Verified Healthy Building Mark for its entire building portfolio. Since the company’s founding in 2003, AREP has deployed over $4.0B across targeted geographies, acquired more than 17M SQFT of class-A real estate, and currently oversees over 10M SQFT of assets.