Nerd Street Gamers has expanded in its hometown and leased 35,000 square feet at 401 N. Broad St. in Philadelphia, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The deal is the latest move for the fast-growing, Philadelphia esports company. Nerd Street raised $10 million earlier this summer and is looking to raise a total of $35 million by the end of the year to support its expansion across the country.
The company is focused on adding more than 100 esports venues called Localhosts in Five Below stores, sports stadiums and college campuses over the next five years. The company so far has locations in Austin, Denver, Los Angeles and in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia and at its home base at 908 N. 3rd St.
The venues provide a space where people can game together for a fee and participate in amateur tournaments. The new location at 401 N. Broad is expected to be another such venue.
“We’re excited about our venture with Nerd Street Gamers,” said Jerry Marshall, CEO of Amerimar Enterprises Inc. and Netrality Properties, which owns 401 N. Broad. Marshall declined to elaborate other than to say more details would be disclosed in September.
An effort to reach a representative from Nerd Street for comment was unsuccessful.
The building at 401 N. Broad, originally constructed in 1930 for Reading Co., is not a typical office property and is seemingly made for Nerd Street’s business model. The 11-story, 1.3-million-square-foot building was redeveloped into one of the most important telecom hotels along the East Coast. The property is considered the most fiber-dense, network-neutral facility between New York and Virginia.
The building is a significant center for data and internet traffic and offers data center infrastructure for carriers and service providers. One of the main characteristics that attracts telecom companies to the building is its location, which gives them the ability to tap into so-called long-haul fiber in the region that provides access to fiber routes to Europe.
When Netrality acquired 401 N. Broad, it decided to invest $70 million in renovations that also included taking a portion of the space to create a “Meet-Me-Room,” or MMR. That is a space within a telecom hotel where different networks can come together and connect with each other. In the case of 401 N. Broad, for example, a lot of international connections run through the building. The MMR at 401 N. Broad will be a carrier neutral room.
In addition to Five Below, Nerd Street investors include Comcast Spectacor, Elevate Capital and SeventySix Capital. Five Below CEO Joel Anderson, Comcast Spectacor President Tucker Roberts and Wayne Kimmel of SeventySix Capital all sit on Nerd Street’s board.
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