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La Colombe adds Independence Mall site

Popular Philly coffee chain expands

La Colombe Torrefaction, the Philly-based coffee chain with big expansion plans, says it will open another of its strong-brew houses -- "in 2015" -- next to Independence Beer Garden on the ground floor of 100 Independence Mall West (the Dow Chemical, ex-Rohm and Haas, building on Independence Mall) says Bill Glazer, boss at Keystone Property Group. La Colombe will be open year-round, expanding into the surrounding concrete terrace in warm months; the beer garden closes in winter. (For some official Italian visitors' recent reaction to La Colombe, see my column here.)

Keystone owns the building in partnership with North Jersey office landlord Mack-Cali Corp. and the Zuritsky family's Parkway Corp., who say they are putting $20 million into the stores and other improvements (also 110 basement parking spaces) to draw scarce new office tenants while creating what Glazer calls a "lively streetscape." Keystone has long specialized in updating aged suburban office buildings; Glazer has lately focused on adding apartments and amenities to genteel but part-vacant office buildings near Washington Square.

La Colombe, founded by Todd Carmichael and J.P. Iberti, said last summer it raised $28.5 million from investors to expand across the U.S. from its dozen East Coast locations. And keep growing locally: the Dow store will open next year at the building's 6th and Market corner. (Updated)