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I. Goldberg to downsize into new space on Chestnut Street due to rent hike

I. Goldberg Army-Navy is moving from 13th and Chestnut Streets, its home for the last 15 years, to a smaller space a few blocks to the east.

The move to 718 Chestnut St. is being necessitated by an unaffordable rent increase at its current space, according to a release Tuesday from Nana Goldberg, president and third-generation owner of the military-surplus and outerwear store.

"Surrounded by major chains, it will continue as one of a few established privately owned small retail businesses in Center City," the release said.

I. Goldberg will use the entire three-story building at 718 Chestnut, including its basement, for a total of about 12,600 square feet, said broker Jamie Weiner of Delphi Property Group LLC, who had marketed the property. The lease is for 10 years, Weiner said.

Nana Goldberg said in an email that the store aims to open there in the spring.

Currently, I. Goldberg occupies a space of about 14,000 square feet over a basement and two floors at 1300 Chestnut St.

It is to be replaced by a Wawa of similar size, according to a person familiar with the convenience store's lease but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

In the release, Nana Goldberg lamented the growing dominance of national retail chains in Center City shopping districts, which are driving rents up beyond what independent businesses like hers can afford.

Companies such as Wawa and Target Corp. have substantially boosted their Center City presence in recent years.

Retail rents in the so-called Midtown Village corridor along 13th Street just south of Chestnut have surged 128 percent since 2005, to about $57 a square foot, real estate services firm CBRE reported early last year.

"Faced with the thought of closing the business, Ms. Goldberg thought of the thousands of customers who have followed and shopped with her family for generations," the release said.

"She feels that there is a need for their store in a city that is now overrun with national chain stores," it said. "There is nothing unique about these stores, they are found in every major city and shopping mall."