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PHILADELPHIA-Mothers Work, now the nation’s largest maternity apparel retailer, expands beyond Center City with a lease for 63,500 sf at the Philadelphia Naval Business Center. The center, which matches all of Center City in size, is owned and developed by Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.

Brokers tell GlobeSt.com the average rental rate for industrial space at the center is approximately $4 per sf.

PIDC provided Mothers Work with $2 million in financing for renovation of its space in the 70,319-sf Building 990 at PNBC. John Grady, senior vice president of PIDC, tells GlobeSt.com the loan consists of a $1-million PIDC economic conversion loan and a $1-million US Department of Housing and Urban Development 108 loan.

Mothers Work has outgrown its owned, 318,000-sf headquarters and manufacturing facility at North Fifth Street in Philadelphia. It will move some of its manufacturing operation to PNBC and boost employment there initially by 51 jobs with a projected expansion to 100 employees in the new location.

Mothers Work operates 750 stores and leases 133 boutiques at other retail sites nationwide. Brands include Mimi Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, Motherhood Maternity, and iMaternity. The company had sales of $388 million in its most recent fiscal year and projects sales of $482 million in 2003.

PIDC is a private, not-for-profit corporation, created in 1958 by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the city’s commerce department to promote economicdevelopment and job creation throughout the city.

PNBC, located at the southern tip of the city, contains 6 million sf of space in existing buildings. Grady tells GlobeSt.com 48 companies have located there, occupying approximately 65% of the available space in existing buildings. New buildings, totaling 4 million sf, are planned.

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