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Penn and The Fresh Grocer have been embroiled in heated litigation since March 31st, during which time questions have been swirling over the status of everyone’s favorite boxed-wine retailer. Now, a shocking revelation has turned the situation on its head.
In a dramatic reversal of fate, the University only has 72 hours to renew its lease with the city of Philadelphia or it has to move. Up until this point it was believed that University Trustees had purchased the land that constitutes Penn’s West Philadelphia campus in 1870. However, investigators unearthed a dark secret while searching through Penn’s mortgage records.
Contract experts explained to UTB that the city of Philadelphia had actually snuck in a “yes takesy backsies” clause into the paperwork that the University signed, giving them the right to reclaim the land “owned” by Penn whenever they wanted. This clause had been lost to the annals of time as the city refocused its energy on becoming a national hub for cheesesteaks and BYOs, but was invoked last Thursday in a surprising move by the city. While it is hypothetically possible for Penn to renew its lease, it appears that Philly is uninterested. As it stands now, it seems Penn will have to move.
To stay competitive in the coming application cycle, Penn must maintain its status as an Ivy League university with an Ivy League campus. As such, the school must find some other place that satisfies that criteria.
Sources say that the University is in talks with both Princeton and Cornell to use some of their space. While Princeton is much closer to New York City, which President Gutmann prefers, space in Ithaca is significantly cheaper. While the University was most interested in Boston, the mayor said there's no room for even one extra college student.
With the land reclaimed from the University, Philadelphia stands to make billions by replacing every square foot of University real estate with Starbucks shopslocations.