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There's a sense of alternate reality built in to each of URBN Inc.'s (owner of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, BDLHN and Terrain) stores. Walk into an Anthropolgie, for example, and you could be the woman with the perfect teapot, the herbology books, the mismatched china, the lace-trimmed apron and the palazzo pants. Your home, a safe, twee fantasy, would smell like sage candles and would always be stocked with pretty printed stationary. Now URBN is taking this experience to the next level by building a branded village where ladies (and men) can live its ethereal lifestyle and buy it, too.
Our sister site Racked Philly reports that the company purchased 6.5 acres in Devon, PA (about 30 minutes outside the heart of Philadelphia as the Google Maps flies) onto which they plan to erect a Terrain garden center, an Anthro, a boutique hotel, a couple farm-to-table restaurants, a specialty foods market, possibly a health/spa facility/boutique fitness studio, and a parking garage. The working title for the shopping village is Devon Yard.
Dave Ziel, chief development officer for Urban Outfitters, explained that the hotel is where the magic will happen: "A handcrafted, authentic and unique boutique hotel is the driver of this village concept," and that it "will be done in a superior way to anything in the area."
The takeaway from this: Unlike most villages centered around shopping, it will be decidenly Instagram-friendly. Ziel also explained of the various shops that will compliment Urban's own fixtures, "When you see a lifestyle center you often see a Chico's, a J. Crew, a Cheesecake Factory. That's not what we're about. We wanted to take this really unique environment and mix it with the right tenants to create a consistent experience, a place where people will want to come and stay for a while."
The project is slated to finish April 2016. If they build it, will you go?
· Urban Outfitters' 'Lifestyle Concept' Coming to the 'Burbs! [Racked Philly]
· Urban Outfitters Goes Surprisingly Unsexy for Halloween [Racked]