New FMC Tower breaks ground and will help create new University City skyline

rendering of new fmc tower

The long-awaited Walnut Street tower of Cira Centre South, at 30th and Walnut Streets, has broken ground and will be referred to as the FMC Tower, named after the twin headquarters of specialty-chemical company FMC Corporation, the anchor tenants.  This new tower will be one of the tallest buildings in the city, standing at 49 storeys and a whopping 730 feet tall, just a few feet shorter than Three Logan Place, formerly known as the Bell Atlantic Tower, at 1717 Arch Street.  It will, also, be the tallest building on Walnut Street.  The FMC Tower is being developed by Brandywine Realty Trust, developers of the original Cira Centre next to 30th Street Station, and the Evo at Cira Centre South, the 33-storey student apartment tower being built at 30th and Chestnut Streets next door.  The new tower, designed by Pelli Clark Pelli Architects, is being called a “vertical neighborhood” because it includes office space, apartments, residential amenities, and retail all in the same building.  I had a chance to view the groundbreaking ceremony a few weeks ago, from atop the Walnut Street Bridge overlooking the construction site.

The FMC Tower will have 622,000 square feet of office space.  Approximately 60% of that space will house the twin corporate headquarters of FMC Corporation, which split into two companies recently, after they move from their current headquarters in the Mellon Financial Center at 18th and Market Streets.  The University of Pennsylvania will take up about 100,000 square feet, as well.  There will be 268 apartments, some of them furnished and being offered for short-term leases, administered by AKA, the local leader in short-term residential leasing.  There will be resident amenities, including a concierge service, a fitness center, a swimming pool, and an outdoor courtyard and green roof on top of the large garage that separates the FMC Tower from Evo.  The parking garage is adding a few floors and some spaces, and part of the green roof and courtyard will be accessible to the public and expected to have outdoor events, like concerts and movies showings.  Like with Evo, the first floor will have retail spaces, including at least one restaurant.  The retail will be along the 30th Street and Walnut Street facades, around the corner from retail on 30th Street in the first floor of the garage and across the street from the entrance walkway into the Penn Park.  The eastern side of the first floor will have a dramatic lobby space, with large windows providing a panoramic view of the Center City skyline and the Schuylkill River.  The FMC Tower will have two vertical sections (the section on the south side will be much taller) and a curved and angled facade with a truncated top and it will be covered in blue glass, like the original Cira Centre building, except at the street level where the blue glass will taper off at more diagonal angles.  The upper floors, in the taller vertical section, will have the apartments and the office space will be on the lower floors, in both the vertical sections, with higher ceilings for the office space.

Brandywine Realty trust would like to eventually build an even taller building behind 30th Street Station, at 30th Street and JFK Boulevard.  That tower would be 54 storeys and approximately 900 to 1000 feet tall and shaped like the original Cira Centre.  It is supposed to be an office building, so now that the Cira South development will soon be finished Brandywine may want to focus on that project, especially since the Cira developments have business tax breaks through 2025 only.  Besides the Cira Centre developments, University City and the Schuylkill Banks are seeing a huge amount of new development.  In University City, there are many new academic and medical developments, such as Drexel University’s Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, at 33rd and Chestnut Streets, the new Gerri C. Lebow Hall for Drexel’s Lebow Business School, at 32nd and Market Streets, new buildings at the University City medical campus, and the Singh Nanotechnology Center, a couple blocks west of the FMC Tower on Walnut Street.  There are, also, new dormitories being built by Penn and Drexel, including the Hill Field College House, at 33rd & Chestnut, Chestnut Square, on Chestnut between 32nd and 33rd Streets, and Lancaster Square, at 34th Street and Lancaster Avenue.  There are new residences for a mix of students and workers, such as 3601 Market Street apartments, at 36th and Market Streets, 38Chestnut apartments, at 38th and Chestnut Streets, and The Hub II, at 40th and Market Streets.  There will, also, be more high-tech focused office buildings in the University City Science Center, including 3737 Market Street finishing up at 38th and Market Streets, and larger office buildings planned for a large parking lot, between 38th and 39th Streets on Market, and at 34th and Market Streets.  As if all that isn’t enough, a new hotel is planned for the northwest corner of 33rd and Chestnut.

On the east side of the Schuylkill River, a new apartment tower is planned for 25th and Locust Streets, at the entrance to the Schuylkill Banks park, Children’s Hospital is planning a huge multi-tower expansion along Schuylkill Avenue, with the first phase to begin soon, the Edgewater Apartments are approved to expand with a 22-storey apartment tower at 23rd and Summer Streets, and a large condo development is planned for 23rd and Arch Streets, overlooking the river and on top of the SEPTA railroad tracks.

All this development is creating a unified Center City/University City downtown with consistently placed active streetscapes and job centers along with an expanded skyline transversing, and along, the Schuylkill River.  If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in University City, Center City, or elsewhere in the city, please contact me at gabriel.gottlieb@lnf.com or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, or our Long & Foster Center City office, here.  You can, also, view my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, and follow my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  And, you can check out more about the FMC tower, here, including a cool video tour, and view these renderings and my pictures of the site and neighborhood, below.

Rendering of the future FMC Tower at Cira Centre South

Rendering of the future FMC Tower at Cira Centre South

Looking towards the site of the future FMC Tower from the east on Walnut Street

Looking towards the site of the future FMC Tower from the east on Walnut Street

Rendering of the future FMC Tower as seen from the South Street Bridge

Rendering of the future FMC Tower as seen from the South Street Bridge

Rendering of the future FMC Tower from the entrance to Penn Park

Rendering of the future FMC Tower from the entrance to Penn Park

Site of future FMC Tower from the entrance to Penn Park

Site of future FMC Tower from the entrance to Penn Park

Rendering of the future FMC Tower, at night, from the South Street Bridge

Rendering of the future FMC Tower, at night, from the South Street Bridge

Rendering of Cira Centre South at night

Rendering of Cira Centre South at night

Rendering of Cira Centre South, at night, from JFK Boulevard

Rendering of Cira Centre South, at night, from JFK Boulevard

Rendering of Cira Centre South, seen from the Spring Garden Street Bridge

Rendering of Cira Centre South, seen from the Spring Garden Street Bridge

Rendering of the ground floor, and retail on Walnut Street, of the new FMC Tower

Rendering of the ground floor, and retail on Walnut Street, of the new FMC Tower

Site of future FMC Tower, at 30th and Walnut Streets

Site of future FMC Tower, at 30th and Walnut Streets

Site of the future FMC Tower and the Center City skyline in the background

Site of the future FMC Tower and the Center City skyline in the background

Rendering of lobby of the new FMC Tower, as seen from the Walnut Street Bridge

Rendering of lobby of the new FMC Tower, as seen from the Walnut Street Bridge

Rendering of the entrance to the new FMC Tower

Rendering of the entrance to the new FMC Tower

Rendering looking into the lobby of the new FMC Tower

Rendering looking into the lobby of the new FMC Tower

Rendering looking from lobby of new FMC Tower at Center City skyline

Rendering looking from lobby of new FMC Tower at Center City skyline

Rendering inside lobby of new FMC Tower

Rendering inside lobby of new FMC Tower

Rendering of view of Center City skyline from upper Floor of the new FMC Tower

Rendering of view of Center City skyline from upper Floor of the new FMC Tower

Rendering of green roof and courtyard over the parking garage

Rendering of green roof and courtyard over the parking garage

Rendering of rooftop plaza on new FMC Tower

Rendering of rooftop plaza on new FMC Tower

Model of entire Cira Centre development, with outdated design for Chestnut Street tower

Model of entire Cira Centre development, with outdated design for Chestnut Street tower

Construction from June 24 at the site of the future FMC Tower

Construction from June 24 at the site of the future FMC Tower

Center City skyline from the site of the future FMC Tower

Center City skyline from the site of the future FMC Tower

Looking at the retail along 30th Street at the base of the parking garage

Looking at the retail along 30th Street at the base of the parking garage

Looking north up 30th Street towards original Cira Centre

Looking north up 30th Street towards original Cira Centre

Street signs at 30th and Walnut Streets

Street signs at 30th and Walnut Streets

Looking east on Walnut Street towards Center City

Looking east on Walnut Street towards Center City

Looking west on Walnut Street into University City

Looking west on Walnut Street into University City

AFSCME Building at 30th and Walnut Streets

AFSCME Building at 30th and Walnut Streets

World Cafe Live on Walnut Street

World Cafe Live on Walnut Street

Penn Park across Walnut Street from future site of FMC Tower

Penn Park across Walnut Street from future site of FMC Tower

Amtrak Acela train, along Penn Park, will pass by future FMC Tower onto 30th Street Station

Amtrak Acela train, along Penn Park, will pass by future FMC Tower onto 30th Street Station

Evo at Cira Center South, as seen from Walnut Street

Evo at Cira Center South, as seen from Walnut Street

View of Cira Centre South and Center City from Penn Park

View of Cira Centre South and Center City from Penn Park

View of Cira Centre South from Penn Park

View of Cira Centre South from Penn Park

Looking south down the Schuylkill River, from Walnut Street Bridge, at the new Schuylkill Banks boardwalk to South Street

Looking south down the Schuylkill River, from Walnut Street Bridge, at the new Schuylkill Banks boardwalk to South Street

Looking at Center City skyline from Schuylkill Avenue

Looking at Center City skyline from Schuylkill Avenue

Looking towards the site of the future FMC Tower, from the east, on Walnut Street

Looking towards the site of the future FMC Tower, from the east, on Walnut Street

Rendering of the future FMC Tower from the brochure

Rendering of the future FMC Tower from the brochure

Evo and parking garage from Walnut Street Bridge

Evo and parking garage from Walnut Street Bridge

Cira Centre South from Schuylkill Banks (Schuylkill River Park and trail)

Cira Centre South from Schuylkill Banks (Schuylkill River Park and trail)

Former 30th Street Post Office (IRS Building), 30th Street Station, and Cira Centre, above Schuylkill Expressway

Former 30th Street Post Office (IRS Building), 30th Street Station, and Cira Centre, above Schuylkill Expressway

Groundbreaking ceremony announcement from May 14

Groundbreaking ceremony announcement from May 14

Site of FMC Tower groundbreaking ceremony

Site of FMC Tower groundbreaking ceremony

Brandywine Realty CEO Jerry Sweeney speaks at FMC Tower groundbreaking ceremony on May 14

Brandywine Realty CEO Jerry Sweeney speaks at FMC Tower groundbreaking ceremony on May 14

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann speaks at groundbreaking ceremony of FMC Tower on May 14

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann speaks at groundbreaking ceremony of FMC Tower on May 14

Banner announces new FMC Tower after groundbreaking ceremony

Banner announces new FMC Tower after groundbreaking ceremony

Fireworks after unveiling of banner of new FMC Tower at the groundbreaking ceremony

Fireworks after unveiling of banner of new FMC Tower at the groundbreaking ceremony

Vacant site at 1911 Walnut Street could be developed soon

Vacant site at 1911 Walnut Street could be developed soon

Rittenhouse Square Park is a half mile from new FMC Tower on Walnut Street

Rittenhouse Square Park is a half mile from new FMC Tower on Walnut Street

Rittenhouse Row shopping district down the street from future FMC Tower on Walnut Street

Rittenhouse Row shopping district down the street from future FMC Tower on Walnut Street

Left Bank Apartments is west of future FMC Tower on Walnut Street

Left Bank Apartments is west of future FMC Tower on Walnut Street

New Singh Nanotechnology Center, on Walnut Street, near future FMC Tower

New Singh Nanotechnology Center, on Walnut Street, near future FMC Tower

 

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SLS International Hotel and Residences gets final approval to build tallest building on Broad Street

rendering of sls int'l hotel and residences

The very upscale SLS International Hotel and Residences has received the final approval needed from city agencies to build what will be the tallest building on Broad Street, and which will house a very upscale luxury hotel and condominiums.  This new tower, being built by Dranoff Properties for SLS International and designed by KPF Architects and Cope Linder, will replace an empty lot and a vacant building next door to the lot, as well as the landmark, but fire damaged, former headquarters and recording studio of Philadelphia International Records, the music recording company that created the “Sound of Philadelphia” in the 1970s.  Philadelphia International Records owners, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, owned the small former headquarters and recording studio building, on the corner of Broad & Spruce Streets, and they are investors in the new tower.  They decided to agree to the demolition of their former headquarters because the building was badly damaged by a fire a couple of years ago.

The SLS International Hotel and Residences will stand 47 storeys and 590 feet tall, much taller than any of its neighbors and the City Hall tower up the street.  It will have multiple uses on different levels.  The podium will have the lobbies for the hotel and condominium and a large restaurant wrapping around the corner of Broad and Spruce Streets, which will have live entertainment like at other SLS hotels.  There will be a level of parking below ground and two floors of parking above the first floor.  The developers and architects insist that they could not build all the parking underground because of the Broad Street subway and utility and communications lines in the subway tunnels.  Above the parking will be a large hotel ballroom overlooking Broad Street and the Kimmel Center, as well as, smaller conference rooms.  On the fifth floor of the podium will be a fitness center, an Olympic-sized pool, a spa, and an outdoor terrace, all accessible to hotel guests and condominium residents.  The hotel will be above the podium and will have 151 guest rooms in a very upscale four or five-star hotel.  Above the hotel, will be 26 floors of 126 condominiums, with one of the highest penthouses in the city.  The tower will be thin and have vertical fins and several sections sticking out like tall bays along the vertical facade.  There will be green rooves on these sections and on top of the ballroom over Broad and Spruce.  The sidewalk will have decorative pavers and two existing trees will be saved on Spruce Street.  The developers received approval from city agencies to vacate and develop a half block of Cypress Street, which had largely been used as a service alley.  The developers would like to begin demolition of the existing buildings this summer and begin construction of the whole project this autumn.

This is one of many residential projects for the area; an area that was not very upscale more than a decade ago, before the construction of the Kimmel Center.  Catercorner to SLS is the Atlantic Building, a former office building which is about to be renovated into apartments or condos.  A couple blocks down Broad Street is the new Southstar Lofts, also being developed by Dranoff Properties, which also built the Symphony House Condominiums and 777 South Broad apartments, both on Broad Street as well.  At the intersection of Broad Street and Washington Avenue, developer Bart Blatstein wants to build a large commercial development, which could have residential, and a couple blocks to the west are a new apartment building at 1601 Washington Avenue and the Carpenter Square condo and townhouse development on 17th Street.  The neighborhood has, also, been enhanced by the creation of Hawthorne Park, at 12th & Fitzwater Streets.  North of SLS, several developments are planned for Chestnut Street.  Right at Broad and Chestnut, the Avenue of the Arts Building is supposed to be renovated into luxury apartments, the parking lot at 15th & Chestnut Streets will soon have the W and Element Hotel tower, and across 15th Street from that, the Chestnut Place office building will soon be renovated into upscale apartments, as well.  As if all that isn’t enough, 1616 Walnut Street has been renovated into luxury apartments and a new apartment building was recently completed on the 1600 block of Sansom Street.  All of these developments are upscale developments, and the SLS International Hotel and Residences will be among the largest and most upscale of them.  It is, also, the start of more major condo development in Center City.  Condos have strong demand now in the city, but a limited available supply.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Center City, or any other area of the city, please contact me at gabriel.gottlieb@lnf.com or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, or check out our Long & Foster Center City office, here.  You can, also, view my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  You can see more of the SLS International Hotel and Residences on the Dranoff website, here, and check out these renderings and my pictures of the site and the Avenue of the Arts neighborhood, below.

Rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences

Rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences

Rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences at night

Rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences at night

Elevation rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences

Elevation rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences

Aerial view of the SLS International Hotel and Residences on the Center City skyline

Aerial view of the SLS International Hotel and Residences on the Center City skyline

View of the SLS International Hotel and Residences on the Center City skyline

View of the SLS International Hotel and Residences on the Center City skyline

Former headquarters and recording studio of Philadelphia International Records and a neighboring vacant building, at Broad and Spruce Streets

Former headquarters and recording studio of Philadelphia International Records and a neighboring vacant building, at Broad and Spruce Streets

Rendering of street level view shows restaurant and ballroom

Rendering of street level view shows restaurant and ballroom

Sign over the entrance and gift shop of Philadelphia International Records

Sign over the entrance and gift shop of Philadelphia International Records

View of the former Philadelphia International Records building and the neighboring building and vacant lot to be replaced by the SLS International Hotel and Residences

View of the former Philadelphia International Records building and the neighboring building and vacant lot to be replaced by the SLS International Hotel and Residences

Wilma Theater is across Spruce Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Wilma Theater is across Spruce Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Kimmel Center, across Broad Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Kimmel Center, across Broad Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

The Atlantic Building is catercorner to the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

The Atlantic Building is catercorner to the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

The lower floors of the Atlantic Building are supposed to have a large store or two

The lower floors of the Atlantic Building are supposed to have a large store or two

Sign announcing that South Broad Street is "Gamble & Huff Walk"

Sign announcing that South Broad Street is “Gamble & Huff Walk”

Looking north up Broad Street from Spruce Street

Looking north up Broad Street from Spruce Street

Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, which lines the Avenue of the Arts, includes many "Philadelphia Sound" artists

Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, which lines the Avenue of the Arts, includes many “Philadelphia Sound” artists

Entrance to the Broad Street subway across the street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Entrance to the Broad Street subway across the street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Spruce Street sign

Spruce Street sign

Looking west down Spruce Street into the Rittenhouse neighborhood

Looking west down Spruce Street into the Rittenhouse neighborhood

Landmark Drake Apartments, on the 1500 block of Spruce Street, used to be a luxury hotel

Landmark Drake Apartments, on the 1500 block of Spruce Street, used to be a luxury hotel

Looking east on Spruce Street into Washington Square West and the Gayborhood

Looking east on Spruce Street into Washington Square West and the Gayborhood

Center City One Condominiums will be next door on Spruce Street

Center City One Condominiums will be next door on Spruce Street

Merriam Theater on Broad Street, north of Spruce

Merriam Theater on Broad Street, north of Spruce

Historic Academy of Music at Locust Street, one block away from the SLS project

Historic Academy of Music at Locust Street, one block away from the SLS project

The Avenue of the Arts Building, at Broad and Chestnut Streets, is supposed to be renovated into luxury apartments soon

The Avenue of the Arts Building, at Broad and Chestnut Streets, is supposed to be renovated into luxury apartments soon

Site of future W and Element Hotel tower, at 15th & Chestnut Streets, and Chestnut Place office building, to the west, soon to be renovated into more luxury apartments

Site of future W and Element Hotel tower, at 15th & Chestnut Streets, and Chestnut Place office building, to the west, soon to be renovated into more luxury apartments

Looking south down Broad Street, from Spruce Street

Looking south down Broad Street, from Spruce Street

Symphony House Condominiums and Suzanne Roberts Theater, a block south on Broad from future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Symphony House Condominiums and Suzanne Roberts Theater, a block south on Broad from future SLS International Hotel and Residences

University of the Arts, next to the Kimmel Center and across Broad Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

University of the Arts, next to the Kimmel Center and across Broad Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Southstar Lofts, at Broad and South Streets

Southstar Lofts, at Broad and South Streets

The Arts Bank, at Broad and South

The Arts Bank, at Broad and South

Potential development site at Broad and Fitzwater Streets

Potential development site at Broad and Fitzwater Streets

777 South Broad Street apartments, at Broad and Fitzwater

777 South Broad Street apartments, at Broad and Fitzwater

Lot at Broad Street and Washington Avenue may have a large shopping center some day soon

Lot at Broad Street and Washington Avenue may have a large shopping center some day soon

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New apartment tower, at former Lit Brothers Department Store, will be a Great Addition to a Great City and will finally bring major residential development to Market East

rendering of future mellon independence center tower

The famous Lit Brothers Department Store building, which is now the BNY/Mellon Independence Center along the 700 block of Market Street, is one of the most charming buildings along Market East.  It has a six-storey cast iron facade on Eighth and Market Streets, which is actually a conglomeration of several buildings, and a sandstone-colored brick facade on Seventh Street.  The tin trim over the corners at Seventh and Market and Eighth and Market have a well-known inscription: “Hats Trimmed Free of Charge”, reminiscent of a time when hats were regularly worn everyday and trimmed with ribbons and items such as feathers.  The top of the building once had a large iconic sign that read “A Great Store for a Great City” back in the days of the department store.  Now, the developers who renovated the conglomeration of buildings into what is now the BNY/Mellon Independence Center, Brickstone Realty, have proposed building a modern apartment highrise at the back of the center on Filbert Street.

The new tower, which is being designed by Stantec Architecture and which would tentatively be called the Mellon Independence Center Tower, would rise to 35 storeys, 29 storeys above the roof on the Filbert Street side.  The tower would be 429 feet tall, about as tall as the Aramark Tower at 11th and Market Streets, and would be set back from the Market Street facade by 180 feet and the Seventh and Eighth Streets facades by 150 feet, which would make it barely visible from directly across Market Street, but visible from Seventh and Eighth Streets.  The tower would have a footprint of 12,000 square feet, less than 10% of the total area of the Mellon Independence Center, but it would add 350,000 square feet of new space.  It would have 342 loft-style units, in the tower above the Mellon Independence Center, and six floors of office space in the lower floors.  The apartments would be 75% one bedrooms and 25% two bedrooms.  The developers plan to demolish the portion where the tower will be and rebuild it with the office space, and then the apartment tower above.  The tower would have large, modern floor to ceiling windows on an all glass facade.  The first floor would have a retail space.  The entrance to the building would be through the Mellon Independence Center itself, with just a simple door on Filbert Street, which the developers believe to be a service alley.  There would be almost no additional parking, the residents would use the large parking garage over Eighth Street next to the building.  That garage, and the underpass along Eighth Street north of Filbert Street, is due for a major renovation soon.  In fact, Brickstone plans to do a more comprehensive renovation of the Mellon Independence Center, with more lighting all around.  The developers received approval from the City Historical Commission, with the proviso that they maintain a brick bridge over Filbert Street, which connects the Mellon Independence Center to the Cast Iron Building (718 Arch Street) and, also, maintain a copper clad walkway, also on Filbert, between two of the Mellon Independence Center buildings.  The tower has, also, received approval from the City Planning Commission’s Civic Design Review committee, and is expected to easily receive approval from the full Planning Commission very soon.  Since no zoning variances are necessary, the developers would not need approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and can start construction as soon as the Planning Commission gives its final approval.

The Mellon Independence Center tower is the first major residential project for Market East, except for a partially finished residential conversion across the street called Thomas Lofts.  It is intended to start a new trend of luxury living on Market East and it certainly isn’t the only improvement project planned for the long stagnant corridor.  The big parking lot, at Eighth and Market Streets, is owned by the Goldenberg Group, which would like to develop a casino there if the Gaming Commission approves it, or with another large development if that doesn’t happen.  The Gallery at Market East is close to getting a total overhaul that would bring new retail, much of it upscale, and entertainment while replacing its facade.  The owners of The Gallery, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, have already gotten department store Century 21 to take two floors of the long vacant, but landmark, former Strawbridge’s Department Store Building.  Developers Seligsohn Hess plan to demolish and redevelop the whole south side of the 1100 block of Market, also known as the Girard Estate or Girard Square block, and build a large mixed use complex, with major retail, residential buildings, and maybe a hotel and office space.  The first phase of that project is scheduled to begin in July, and will include a lot of retail space and at least one highrise residential building on Market Street.  As if this isn’t enough, other residential and retail projects are happening on neighboring streets, such as a new highrise apartment building on the 1200 block of Walnut Street, a large apartment and retail complex that will take up most of the south side of the 1100 block of Chestnut Street; also being developed by Brickstone, a new luxury condo tower at 5th and Walnut Streets, a new apartment tower at 10th and Vine Streets, an affordable apartment development at 9th and Arch Streets, and the renovation of the former Goldtex factory building, at 12th and Callowhill Streets, into apartments.  All this near the recently expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center.  Not only is the Mellon Independence Center near the Convention Center, Reading Terminal Market, and all these new and renovated retail complexes, but it is also a block away from the Independence Mall and a few blocks away from Franklin Square Park, to the north, and Washington Square Park, to the south.  It is, also, above a huge hub of rail transit, including the Market/Frankford line, the PATCO line to New Jersey, and the regional rail at Market East Station.

Clearly, the Mellon Independence Center tower would be the beginning of a lot of change for Market East.  If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Center City, or anywhere else nearby, please contact me at gabriel.gottlieb@lnf.com or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, or our Long & Foster Philly Center City office, here (our office is down the street from the new tower, in the Curtis Center).  You can, also, view my real estate Facebook page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  You can see the minutes from the Historical Commission’s March meeting where the project was approved, here, and view renderings and my pictures of the site and neighborhood, below.

Rendering of Future Mellon Independence Center Tower

Rendering of Future Mellon Independence Center Tower

Rendering of future Mellon Independence Center Tower at night

Rendering of future Mellon Independence Center Tower at night

The Mellon Independence Center, former Lits Brothers Department Store, at 7th and Market Streets

The Mellon Independence Center, former Lit Brothers Department Store, at 7th and Market Streets

Mellon Independence Center, former Lits Brothers Department Store, at 8th and Market Streets

Mellon Independence Center, former Lit Brothers Department Store, at 8th and Market Streets

Inscription on facade on Market Street reminds passersby of the history of the Mellon Independence Center

Inscription on facade on Market Street reminds passersby of the history of the Mellon Independence Center

Inscription at each corner on Market Street has famous expression, "Hats Trimmed Free of Charge"

Inscription at each corner on Market Street has famous expression, “Hats Trimmed Free of Charge”

Historic plaques in the entrance of the Mellon Independence Center

Historic plaques in the entrance of the Mellon Independence Center

Atrium of Mellon Independence Center

Atrium of Mellon Independence Center

Looking up in the atrium of the Mellon Independence Center

Looking up in the atrium of the Mellon Independence Center

Underground entrance to the Market/Frankford line, PATCO line, Market East Station, The Gallery, and the former Strawbridge's Building

Underground entrance to the Market/Frankford line, PATCO line, Market East Station, The Gallery, and the former Strawbridge’s Building

Street signs at 7th and Market Streets

Street signs at 7th and Market Streets

Seventh Street side of Mellon Independence Center

Seventh Street side of Mellon Independence Center

Looking north up 7th Street towards Franklin Square Park

Looking north up 7th Street towards Franklin Square Park

Looking south down 7th Street towards Washington Square Park

Looking south down 7th Street towards Washington Square Park

Jewelers Row, on the 700 block of Sansom Street, is a couple blocks south of the Mellon Independence Center

Jewelers Row, on the 700 block of Sansom Street, is a couple blocks south of the Mellon Independence Center

Declaration House, or the Graff House, is a recreation of the house where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, at 7th and Market Streets

Declaration House, or the Graff House, is a recreation of the house where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, at 7th and Market Streets

The Sovereign Building, directly across Market Street from the Mellon Independence Center

The Sovereign Building, directly across Market Street from the Mellon Independence Center

Thomas Lofts, across from the Mellon Independence Center

Thomas Lofts, across from the Mellon Independence Center

Looking east on Market Street, towards the Independence Mall and Old City

Looking east on Market Street, towards the Independence Mall and Old City

View of the Independence Mall, from 6th and Market Streets, shows Independence Hall, the President's House Memorial, the Liberty Bell Center, and the Hotel Monaco

View of the Independence Mall, from 6th and Market Streets, shows Independence Hall, the President’s House Memorial, the Liberty Bell Center, and the Hotel Monaco

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Looking towards the Constitution Center on Arch Street

Looking towards the Constitution Center on Arch Street

Independence Visitors Center, at 6th and Market Streets

Independence Visitors Center, at 6th and Market Streets

Eighth Street side of Mellon Independence Center

Eighth Street side of Mellon Independence Center

Looking north up 8th Street, at parking garage which will soon be renovated

Looking north up 8th Street, at parking garage which will soon be renovated

Site of the future Mellon Independence Center Tower, on Filbert Street

Site of the future Mellon Independence Center Tower, on Filbert Street

Brick bridge, over Filbert Street, connects the Mellon Independence Center to the back of the Cast Iron Building

Brick bridge, over Filbert Street, connects the Mellon Independence Center to the back of the Cast Iron Building

Copper walkway between the buildings of the Mellon Independence Center, on Filbert Street

Copper walkway between the buildings of the Mellon Independence Center, on Filbert Street

Entrance to transit stations under Eighth and Market Streets, including the Market/Frankford line, the PATCO line, and Market East Station

Entrance to transit stations under Eighth and Market Streets, including the Market/Frankford line, the PATCO line, and Market East Station

Looking south down 8th Street, towards the St. James apartment tower and Pennsylvania Hospital

Looking south down 8th Street, towards the St. James apartment tower and Pennsylvania Hospital

Parking lot at 8th and Market Streets may be developed with a casino or some other large mixed-use development

Parking lot at 8th and Market Streets may be developed with a casino or some other large mixed-use development

Former Strawbridge Department Store Building, at 8th and Market Streets, will have Century 21 and other retail and restaurants soon

Former Strawbridge Department Store Building, at 8th and Market Streets, will have Century 21 and other retail and restaurants soon

The Gallery at Market East will be renovated soon

The Gallery at Market East will be renovated soon

The Aramark Tower, at 11th and Market Streets, is about as tall as the future Mellon Independence Center Tower will be

The Aramark Tower, at 11th and Market Streets, is about as tall as the future Mellon Independence Center Tower will be

Reading Terminal Building, at 12th and Market Streets

Reading Terminal Building, at 12th and Market Streets

Girard Estate block, at 12th and Market Streets, will be redeveloped into a huge mixed-use development of retail, housing, hotel, and office space

Girard Estate block, at 12th and Market Streets, will be redeveloped into a huge mixed-use development of retail, housing, hotel, and office space

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Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, now completely approved by city agencies, will be a historic and dramatic development for Philadelphia

rendering of the comcast innovation and technology center

The City Planning Commission’s Civic Design Review committee has given the final city agency approval for the construction of the landmark Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, which will be the tallest building in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania when completed.  This means that the developers, Liberty Property Trust, can begin construction soon, once all financing is secured.  The total cost of the CITC will be $1.2 billion, with just $40 million coming from the state and city to expand the underground concourse that connects to the existing Comcast Center concourse and the regional rail at Suburban Station.  The site of the new tower is a sad-looking parking lot on Arch Street, where another major development was planned a few years ago but didn’t work out.  The construction of the new tower for Comcast is such a huge development for so many aspects of the city, including the city’s economy, skyline, architecture, as well as, the city’s identity.

The CITC will be built by Liberty Property Trust, the developers of the existing Comcast Center; which is on the next block at 17th and Arch Streets; and Liberty Place, and designed by Foster + Partners Architects, with landscape design by Olin and engineering by Pennoni Associates.  It will be owned by Comcast, which will be the lead office tenant, when it is completed.  The new tower will be 59 storeys and 1,121 feet (341 meters) tall, including an art-deco “lantern light blade” that will light up at night to create a focal point for the skyline, and the building will be a total of 1.694 million square feet.  The tower will be on a podium that will extend the length of the 1800 block of Arch Street.  It will be set back slightly from 19th Street and significantly from 18th Street, allowing for daylight to shine onto the historic Arch Street Presbyterian Church, across 18th Street and next to the existing Comcast Center, and also to neighboring office and residential buildings.  There will be almost 1.3 million square feet of office space, most of it taken up by Comcast, in 13 three-story collaborative work lofts, each of which will have a three-storey atrium (or “sky garden“) at the eastern end in order to create a high-rise, high-tech campus with open and collaborative spaces.  At the top of the office portion will be a large employee cafeteria, also in an atrium setting, with a video screen and some sort of multi-storey slide to the lower level of the atrium.  The top third of the tower, beginning apparently at the 48th floor, will have a Four Seasons Hotel with 222 rooms, a spa with an infinity pool (not an Xfinity pool, mind you) facing the existing Comcast Center, a top floor lobby and observation space (with trees in planters that will be higher than the tallest redwoods) and a top floor restaurant.  The observation floor will be approximately 900 feet in the air, about 400 feet higher than the City Hall observation deck, and on a clear day viewers will be able to see the casinos of Atlantic City, among other things.  The hotel portion will be set back on the north and south sides, with a green roof on top of the Comcast employee cafeteria.  At the base will be a lobby winter garden and “urban room”, 64 feet high with a mezzanine lobby at the 18th Street office entrance, and a porte-cochere at the 19th Street entrance to the hotel, as well as a block-long restaurant along Arch Street that will have outdoor seating and benches.  The hotel will be accessible by elevators running along the 19th Street facade that will have glass enclosures, allowing views of the city while traveling all the way up to the top floor.  The elevators, on 19th Street, will be part of an “expressed core” for the building.  This design will allow views through the building from east to west.  Above the first floor will be the official mezzanine lobby of the office buildings, and above that will be the hotel ballroom and then above the ballroom will be television studios for NBC10 and Telemundo.  The exterior of the tower will be clad in glass panels and metal trim, which will have a distinctive zigzag pattern on the east and west sides of the building.  The small plazas at each end will be covered in black granite, like the existing Comcast Center plaza.

Under the tower will be an extension of the SEPTA concourse, connected to the existing Comcast Center food court by a colorful, winding tunnel underneath 18th Street, with a glass fountain in the middle and two retail spaces at the entrance to the connector tunnel.  The underground concourse will allow pedestrians to walk seamlessly from the Comcast Center up to 19th Street, and the walkway will slope up towards 19th Street from the lower level.  During audience comments at Civic Design Review, I suggested that the underground concourse should have more retail, or a food court similar to the popular, and uniquely locally flavored, food court at the Comcast Center.  John Gattuso, of Liberty Property, said that they would like to add that retail later on, once they feel there is enough of a market for it.  I had mentioned that there are about two dozen residential projects that were either recently completed, are under construction, or are soon to be built within a short walk from the new tower.  Mr. Gattuso acknowledged that and said that Liberty’s goal is to try to attract neighborhood residents into both towers’ food courts.

There will be 70 parking spaces underneath, and considerable bike parking.  Liberty Property Trust estimates that about 70 to 80 percent of workers in the building will use mass transit, 10 percent will walk to work, and the rest will bike to work.  The developers hope to build the CITC to be LEED Platinum certified.  The Civic Design Review committee voted that the developers and designers do not need to return to CDR again and that they need to comply with just three recommendations: explore participation with the city’s new bike share program, request that relevant city agencies encourage SEPTA to minimize the impact on 18th Street of the underground passageway, and continue a dialogue with the Arch Street Presbyterian Church during construction to minimize disruption to the church’s services and operations, including a daycare and preschool.  The developers plan to break ground on the project this summer and be complete by 2017.  Liberty Property is, also, considering building another, probably smaller, building for Comcast on the northeast corner of the intersection of 18th Street and JFK Boulevard, and maybe another office tower on the northwest corner of 19th & Arch in the future.

Again, the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center is such a momentous project for the city.  It gives the city an even more dramatic skyline, making Philadelphia one of the premier skyscraper city’s of North America, in a class with New York and Chicago only.  Adding such tall towers always makes a city look bigger and more prosperous, and this project is adding many new jobs to the rapidly developing neighborhoods in this part of the city and providing new amenities for the neighborhoods and office district.  It will act as a visual symbol of the city and its high-tech economy, while also being a new high-profile tourist attraction, literally and figuratively.  It joins other new office buildings, such as the 47-storey FMC Tower, soon to be built on the University City waterfront as part of the Cira South development, and new office space for high-tech businesses at the University City Science Center and the Navy Yard, as well as, industrial loft conversions for creative companies throughout the city, though especially in North Philadelphia.

Comcast plans to add at least 1,500 entirely new jobs, and will likely transfer other jobs for a net increase of 3,000 to 4,000 new jobs in the city.  The additional office space would be attractive to emerging high-tech and creative companies, or companies like Comcast that are a mix of both high-tech and creative industries.  The work spaces are designed to be attractive to high-tech workers, who prefer the open and collaborative space elements to the traditional cubicle-style corporate office layout, and the spaces are designed to be attractive to creative workers, who prefer the loft spaces of former industrial buildings.  The CITC is intended to be a modern-day industrial and office tower, and an alternative to suburban office campuses, where most high-tech companies are located.  Rather than commute a long distance from the city to an isolated suburban office campus (which is common in the Bay Area), high-tech workers, who increasingly want to live in the city, can just simply walk or bike to work (or have a short commute on a bus, trolley, or train) from their trendy city neighborhoods.

As I already mentioned, the CITC will be within walking distance of so many new condo and apartment developments, as well as, other new and improved hotels.  The existing Four Seasons Hotel will likely be taken over by another operator or be converted to condos.  Also, across Logan Circle on the Ben Franklin Parkway, the soon-to-be-former Family Courts Building will be converted into a luxury Kimpton Hotel, while the upper floors of Two Liberty Place will also have a luxury hotel and a very large W and Element Hotel tower will be built at 15th & Chestnut Streets.  Across 19th Street from the CITC, 1900 Arch Apartments is being built and across Arch Street from the Comcast Center the Robert Morris Building was recently renovated into apartments.  Other residential developments that were recently built, or will be built soon, include 2040 Market Street apartments, at 21st and Market Streets, 1919 Market apartments, at 20th and Market Streets, a new office and apartment building behind the One Parkway Building, a large condo development planned for 23rd and Arch Streets, and an addition to the Edgewater apartments.  North of the Parkway, The Granary apartments on 19th Street were recently finished and more developments are planned, including Museum Towers II apartments and townhouses next to Baldwin Park on 18th and 19th Streets, Rodin Square apartments and retail at 21st and Callowhill Streets, a new apartment tower at 1601 Vine Street, and two new apartment buildings at Broad and Callowhill Streets.  The new Four Seasons will be literally two short blocks from the Parkway, which is being enhanced with improved public spaces, such as Sister Cities Park, Love Park, and Dilworth Plaza, and the new Barnes Foundation museum.

This may be the most exciting article that I’ve written thus far on this blog.  The effect of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will be far-reaching throughout the city and region, but especially in Center City.  If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Center City, or any other part of the city, please contact me at gabriel.gottlieb@lnf.com or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, or our Long & Foster Center City office, here.  You can, also, view and follow my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or follow me on twitter, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  You can, also, watch this cool video, which the architects posted on Youtube, and you can view these renderings and my many pictures of the CITC’s architectural model, from the Civic Design Review meeting, and my other pictures of the site and neighborhood, below.

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, showing the 19th Street side and the "lantern" light blade

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, showing the 19th Street side and the “lantern” light blade

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, showing the 18th Street side

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, showing the 18th Street side

Sectional elevation drawing of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Sectional elevation drawing of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the end of the Ben Franklin Parkway

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the end of the Ben Franklin Parkway

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the Spring Garden Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the Spring Garden Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River

A more expansive view of the rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the Spring Garden Street Bridge

A more expansive view of the rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the Spring Garden Street Bridge

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the Schuylkill River

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the Schuylkill River

Model of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center seen from the southwest angle

Model of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center seen from the southwest angle

Another view of the model of the CITC from the southwest angle

Another view of the model of the CITC from the southwest angle

19th Street side of model of CITC

19th Street side of model of CITC

Rendering of the 19th Street porte cochere and entrance to the Four Seasons Hotel

Rendering of the 19th Street porte cochere and entrance to the Four Seasons Hotel

Model of the CITC from the western view of the tower

Model of the CITC from the western view of the tower

View of the "lantern" light blade and Four Seasons from the west

View of the “lantern” light blade and Four Seasons from the west

View of the observation deck and hotel lobby of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

View of the observation deck and hotel lobby of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Rendering of the observation deck and Four Seasons hotel lobby of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Rendering of the observation deck and Four Seasons hotel lobby of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Model of the CITC and the Comcast Center as seen from the south

Model of the CITC and the Comcast Center as seen from the south

View of the model of the CITC and the Comcast Center from the southeast angle

View of the model of the CITC and the Comcast Center from the southeast angle

Closer view of the towers, from the southeastern angle

Closer view of the towers, from the southeastern angle

View of the Four Seasons Hotel, and green rooves, on the model of the CITC

View of the Four Seasons Hotel, and green rooves, on the model of the CITC

View of the 18th Street "winter garden" and office portion lobby, on the model

View of the 18th Street “winter garden” and office portion lobby, on the model

Cross section of the podium and 18th Street lobby of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Cross section of the podium and 18th Street lobby of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Rendering of the 18th Street lobby of the CITC, including office portion entrance and the underground concourse

Rendering of the 18th Street lobby of the CITC, including office portion entrance and the underground concourse

Close up of the Comcast cafeteria, at the top floor of the office portion, on the model of the CITC

Close up of the Comcast cafeteria, at the top floor of the office portion, on the model of the CITC

Close up of an atrium in the model of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Close up of an atrium in the model of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center

Rendering of the exterior of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center shows the zigzag pattern, glass elevators, and atria inside

Rendering of the exterior of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center shows the zigzag pattern, glass elevators, and atria inside

Rendering of an atrium in one of the "sky garden" work zones of the CITC

Rendering of an atrium in one of the “sky garden” work zones of the CITC

View of the Comcast Center from one of the sky garden atria

View of the Comcast Center from one of the sky garden atria

Beginning of the presentation for the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center at the meeting of the Civic Design Review committee on April 9, 2014

Beginning of the presentation for the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center at the meeting of the Civic Design Review committee on April 9, 2014

View of a rendering of the lantern light blade and observation deck/hotel lobby at the CDR meeting on April 9th

View of a rendering of the lantern light blade and observation deck/hotel lobby at the CDR meeting on April 9th

View of the Comcast Center and the future air site of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the 18th floor of the One Parkway Building, where the CDR meeting was held on April 9th

View of the Comcast Center and the future air site of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the 18th floor of the One Parkway Building, where the CDR meeting was held on April 9th

Rendering of 19th Street entrance to hotel and porte cochere

Rendering of 19th Street entrance to hotel and porte cochere

Future site of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, at 19th and Arch Streets where hotel entrance and porte cochere will be

Future site of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, at 19th and Arch Streets where hotel entrance and porte cochere will be

Wider angle showing the 1800 block of Arch Street where restaurant will be

Wider angle showing the 1800 block of Arch Street where restaurant will be

Looking east down Arch Street toward the Comcast Center and the Arch Street Presbyterian Church

Looking east down Arch Street toward the Comcast Center and the Arch Street Presbyterian Church

Looking south down 19th Street towards Rittenhouse Square

Looking south down 19th Street towards Rittenhouse Square

Looking north up 19th Street towards Logan Circle and the Ben Franklin Parkway

Looking north up 19th Street towards Logan Circle and the Ben Franklin Parkway

1900 Arch apartments are under construction, across 19th Street from the CITC

1900 Arch apartments are under construction, across 19th Street from the CITC

Courtyard of 1900 Arch apartments, across 19th Street from the CITC

Courtyard of 1900 Arch apartments, across 19th Street from the CITC

View of the Comcast Center from 19th Street

View of the Comcast Center from 19th Street

View of Comcast Center and Three Logan Place from 19th Street

View of Comcast Center and Three Logan Place from 19th Street

1835 Arch apartments, on the left, and Two Logan Place, on the right, across Arch Street from future CITC

1835 Arch apartments, on the left, and Two Logan Place, on the right, across Arch Street from future CITC

Looking towards the 19th Street side of the site of the future CITC, from 19th Street and JFK Boulevard

Looking towards the 19th Street side of the site of the future CITC, from 19th Street and JFK Boulevard

Looking east down Market Street, from 20th Street, with site of future 1919 Market apartments on the left

Looking east down Market Street, from 20th Street, with site of future 1919 Market apartments on the left

Rittenhouse Square Park (from last summer), a few blocks from the CITC, on 19th Street

Rittenhouse Square Park (from last summer), a few blocks from the CITC, on 19th Street

This site, on the northwest corner of 19th and Arch Streets catercorner to the future CITC, is owned by Liberty Property Trust and could have another office tower someday

This site, on the northwest corner of 19th and Arch Streets catercorner to the future CITC, is owned by Liberty Property Trust and could have another office tower someday

Site of the future Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, at 18th and Arch Streets

Site of the future Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, at 18th and Arch Streets

Wider view of the 1800 block of Arch Street, from 18th Street, where entrance to the office building and a public plaza will be

Wider view of the 1800 block of Arch Street, from 18th Street, where entrance to the office building and a public plaza will be

Two Logan Place office building, across Arch Street from the future CITC

Two Logan Place office building, across Arch Street from the future CITC

Back of The Sterling apartments, across Cuthbert Street from the future CITC

Back of The Sterling apartments, across Cuthbert Street from the future CITC

Arch Street Presbyterian Church, on the southeast corner of 18th and Arch Streets, will be imbetween the two Comcast towers

Arch Street Presbyterian Church, on the southeast corner of 18th and Arch Streets, will be imbetween the two Comcast towers

Comcast Center, seen from 18th Street, rising above the Arch Street Presbyterian Church

Comcast Center, seen from 18th Street, rising above the Arch Street Presbyterian Church

Three Logan Place and Comcast Center, looking up from 18th and Arch Streets

Three Logan Place and Comcast Center, looking up from 18th and Arch Streets

Walkway along south side of Arch Street Presbyterian Church, which was built by Liberty Property Trust, leading to the Comcast Center from 18th Street

Walkway along south side of Arch Street Presbyterian Church, which was built by Liberty Property Trust, leading to the Comcast Center from 18th Street

Sign for Cuthbert Street, which runs along the north side of the CITC site, and BNY/Mellon Financial Center in the background

Sign for Cuthbert Street, which runs along the south side of the CITC site, and BNY/Mellon Financial Center in the background

Northwest corner of 18th Street and JFK Boulevard, where another office building may be built in the future

Northwest corner of 18th Street and JFK Boulevard, where another office building may be built in the future

Looking up at the Comcast Center from the corner of 18th Street and JFK Boulevard

Looking up at the Comcast Center from the corner of 18th Street and JFK Boulevard

Entrance to the underground concourse of the Comcast Center, at 18th and JFK

Entrance to the underground concourse of the Comcast Center, at 18th and JFK

Walkway along the south side of the Arch Street Presbyterian Church, leading to 18th Street and the site of the future CITC

Walkway along the south side of the Arch Street Presbyterian Church, leading to 18th Street and the site of the future CITC

Site of the future CITC, from 18th Street

Site of the future CITC, from 18th Street

Looking up at One Liberty Place, from the Comcast Center plaza

Looking up at One Liberty Place, from the Comcast Center plaza

Plaza of Comcast Center, at 17th Street and JFK Boulevard

Plaza of Comcast Center, at 17th Street and JFK Boulevard

Air space where Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will be

Air space where Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will be

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the Comcast Center plaza

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, as seen from the Comcast Center plaza

Looking up at the Comcast Center from 17th Street

Looking up at the Comcast Center from 17th Street

Sign in front of the Comcast Center, at 1701 JFK Boulevard

Sign in front of the Comcast Center, at 1701 JFK Boulevard

Looking towards the site of the future CITC, from the Comcast Center plaza

Looking towards the site of the future CITC, from the Comcast Center plaza

Looking towards the future Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, from inside the Comcast Center lobby

Looking towards the future Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, from inside the Comcast Center lobby

Lobby of the Comcast Center

Lobby of the Comcast Center

The Comcast Experience, the world's largest HD screen of its kind

The Comcast Experience, the world’s largest HD screen of its kind

Comcast Center food court, in the underground concourse

Comcast Center food court, in the underground concourse

Looking towards the 18th Street side of the food court, where the new tunnel to the underground concourse of the CITC will begin

Looking towards the 18th Street side of the food court, where the new tunnel to the underground concourse of the CITC will begin

Looking up towards the future site of the CITC, from the underground concourse of the Comcast Center

Looking up towards the future site of the CITC, from the underground concourse of the Comcast Center

Entrance to Suburban Station and the regional rail, from the food court and concourse of the Comcast Center

Entrance to Suburban Station and the regional rail, from the food court and concourse of the Comcast Center

Looking into Suburban Station, from in front of the entrance to the Comcast Center concourse

Looking into Suburban Station, from in front of the entrance to the Comcast Center concourse

Suburban Station concourse leads to the regional rail and other major buildings

Suburban Station concourse leads to the regional rail and other major buildings

Looking up 18th Street, towards the Parkway, from 18th and Arch Streets

Looking up 18th Street, towards the Parkway, from 18th and Arch Streets

Robert Morris building, and its reflection in the Comcast Center, a block from the future CITC

Robert Morris building, and its reflection in the Comcast Center, a block from the future CITC

Sign mentioning Parkway Museums District, a couple short blocks from the future CITC, and the current Four Seasons Hotel on the left

Sign mentioning Parkway Museums District, a couple short blocks from the future CITC, and the current Four Seasons Hotel on the left

Current Four Seasons Hotel on the Parkway, as seen from Sister Cities Park

Current Four Seasons Hotel on the Parkway, as seen from Sister Cities Park

Looking at Logan Circle and the museums along the Ben Franklin Parkway

Looking at Logan Circle and the museums along the Ben Franklin Parkway

Looking at Sister Cities Park and the Family Courts Building, which will soon be a luxury Kimpton Hotel

Looking at Sister Cities Park and the Family Courts Building, which will soon be a luxury Kimpton Hotel

Looking up the Parkway towards Logan Circle and City Hall, with the Comcast Center and the site of the future Comcast Innovation and Technology Center in the background

Looking up the Parkway towards Logan Circle and City Hall, with the Comcast Center and the site of the future Comcast Innovation and Technology Center in the background

The Barnes Foundation museum, at 20th Street and the Parkway, near the future CITC

The Barnes Foundation museum, at 20th Street and the Parkway, near the future CITC

Looking south towards the site of the future Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, from Baldwin Park in Franklintown

Looking south towards the site of the future Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, from Baldwin Park in Franklintown

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New apartment building, at 1601 Washington Avenue, may be the beginning of change on Washington Avenue

future site of 1601 washington ave. apartments and retailWashington Avenue, west of Broad Street, is a historically industrial street.  For decades it was lined with active factories and warehouses, the largest industrial corridor in South Philadelphia not adjacent to the waterfront.  As time went by, most of the factories closed down and the industrial buildings were converted almost entirely into home building and decorating supply warehouses, some with pedestrian-accessible showrooms.  As the city’s housing market has boomed, these businesses have grown and sometimes have been renovated.  However, many people believe that with housing development in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood reaching a limit of available space and the outdated layout of these warehouse buildings, that Washington Avenue should see redevelopment.  Several small apartment developments are planned for Washington Avenue, one at 20th Street and Washington, another at 18th Street and Washington, and the largest at 16th Street and Washington Avenue.

The development at 1601 Washington Avenue, designed by RHC Design LLC, will be five storeys tall and have 35 apartment units.  The exterior will have modern panels and traditional looking windows, with Juliet balconies and a rooftop deck.  There will be retail on both Washington Avenue and 16th Street, and a parking entrance on Washington Avenue leading to 20 ground level parking spaces behind the building.  The property is currently part of a parking lot for a grocery store set back from Washington Avenue.  1601 Washington Avenue will be built on a diamond-shaped parcel of land that is separate from the grocery store and the rest of its parking lot.  This juxtaposition to the existing grocery store caused concern in the neighborhood, but after much testimony at Planning Commission and Zoning Board hearings, both the Planning Commission and Zoning Board voted to approve the project, agreeing with some neighbors who believe that industrial and warehouse uses, as well as, suburban-style strip malls, were not the best use for Washington Avenue properties nowadays.

This new development, like I said, could start a new trend of new residential and commercial development on this stretch of Washington Avenue.  When I was in the neighborhood the other day, I found out that one of the buildings near 19th Street was for sale, then I found out that the building directly across the street was also for sale.  Besides the developments planned at 18th and 20th Streets, there are plans to convert the large former Frankford Chocolate Factory, at 22nd Street and Washington Avenue, into apartments and there is a large new townhouse and condo project being built at 17th & Carpenter Streets, called Carpenter Square, and a site across the street that will be redeveloped by a developer that was chosen last week by the Redevelopment Authority.  On the northwestern corner of 17th & Carpenter, an empty lot is about to be converted into a neighborhood park called Carpenter Green, which is probably one reason why this apartment building at 1601 Washington Avenue is being built at this time.  Washington Avenue could, also, attract artists and creative companies in existing and newly constructed buildings.  NextFab Studios, which provides work spaces, machinery, and tools for artists and creative companies has recently opened up a few blocks west of 1601 Washington.  Also, an old warehouse just south of Washington Avenue, at 25 & Ellsworth Streets, is being renovated into loft-style apartments.  As if all this isn’t enough, the University of Pennsylvania is starting to redevelop the former Dupont Labs site on the Schuylkill River, just off of Gray’s Ferry Avenue near the western end of Washington Avenue, with a mix of research facilities and office and lab space for private high-tech companies.

At Broad and Washington, developer Bart Blatstein is planning a huge shopping center development, which hopefully will include some residential towers as well, and South Broad Street is experiencing several new developments, such as the Southstar Lofts apartment building, at Broad and South Streets, and the SLS International Hotel and Condominiums, at Broad and Spruce Streets.  The redevelopment of Washington Avenue seems almost inevitable with this huge amount of housing development happening nearby.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home or investment property in the Graduate Hospital or Point Breeze neighborhoods, or any other neighborhood in the city, please contact me at gabriel.gottlieb@lnf.com or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, or learn more about our Long & Foster Center City office, here.  You can, also, check out my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or follow my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  And, you can look at the ZBA approval, here, and view renderings and my pictures of the site and neighborhood, below.

Site diagram of 1601 Washington Avenue apartments shows retail and parking on the ground level

Site diagram of 1601 Washington Avenue apartments shows retail and parking on the ground level

Elevation rendering of 1601 Washington Avenue, showing Washington Avenue side and retail

Elevation rendering of 1601 Washington Avenue, showing Washington Avenue side and retail

1601 Washington Avenue, and shopping center, from across Washington Avenue

1601 Washington Avenue, and shopping center, from across Washington Avenue

Elevation rendering of 1601 Washington Avenue showing the 16th Street side and more retail space

Elevation rendering of 1601 Washington Avenue showing the 16th Street side and more retail space

Future site of 1601 Washington Avenue apartments, at the corner

Future site of 1601 Washington Avenue apartments, at the corner

Supermarket behind 1601 Washington Avenue

Supermarket behind 1601 Washington Avenue

Warehouse and store across Washington Avenue

Warehouse and store across Washington Avenue

Street signs at 16th Street and Washington Avenue

Street signs at 16th Street and Washington Avenue

Looking west down Washington Avenue, from 16th Street

Looking west down Washington Avenue, from 16th Street

Looking east down Washington Avenue, from 16th Street

Looking east down Washington Avenue, from 16th Street

Looking north up 16th Street, towards Center City, from 1601 Washington Avenue

Looking north up 16th Street, towards Center City, from 1601 Washington Avenue

Carpenter Square, under construction on 17th Street, around the corner from 1601 Washington Avenue site

Carpenter Square, under construction on 17th Street, around the corner from 1601 Washington Avenue site

Looking up 17th Street, and at the future development site across from Carpenter Square

Looking up 17th Street, and at the future development site across from Carpenter Square

This site on 17th Street, across from Carpenter Square and around the corner from 1601 Washington Avenue, has just been sold to a developer by the Redevelopment Authority

This site on 17th Street, across from Carpenter Square and around the corner from 1601 Washington Avenue, has just been sold to a developer by the Redevelopment Authority

This lot, on the northwest corner of 17th and Carpenter Streets, is the future site of Carpenter Green

This lot, on the northwest corner of 17th and Carpenter Streets, is the future site of Carpenter Green

Sign announcing Carpenter Green

Sign announcing Carpenter Green

Corner of 18th Street and Washington Avenue may, also, have a new apartment building soon

Corner of 18th Street and Washington Avenue may, also, have a new apartment building soon

Corner of 20th Street and Washington Avenue may have a new apartment building

Corner of 20th Street and Washington Avenue may have a new apartment building

New apartment building on 20th Street, just north of Washington Avenue

New apartment building on 20th Street, just north of Washington Avenue

NextFab Studios is down the street from 1601 Washington Avenue

NextFab Studios is down the street from 1601 Washington Avenue

The former Frankford Chocolate Factory, at 22nd Street and Washington Avenue, may be converted into apartments soon

The former Frankford Chocolate Factory, at 22nd Street and Washington Avenue, may be converted into apartments soon

This vacant warehouse, at 25th and Ellsworth Streets, is to be converted into apartments soon

This vacant warehouse, at 25th and Ellsworth Streets, is to be converted into apartments soon

Northwest corner of Broad and Washington, two blocks from 1601 Washington Avenue, is a prime spot for future development

Northwest corner of Broad and Washington, two blocks from 1601 Washington Avenue, is a prime spot for future development

Huge lot, at northeast corner of Broad and Washington, is about to be redeveloped by Bart Blatstein

Huge lot, at northeast corner of Broad and Washington, is about to be redeveloped by Bart Blatstein

Sign announcing new retail space at northeast corner of Broad and Washington

Sign announcing new retail space at northeast corner of Broad and Washington

777 South Broad Street apartments, at Broad and Fitzwater Streets

777 South Broad Street apartments, at Broad and Fitzwater Streets

Southstar Lofts apartments, at Broad and South Streets

Southstar Lofts apartments, at Broad and South Streets

Symphony House Condominiums and Suzanne Roberts Theatre, at Broad and Pine Streets

Symphony House Condominiums and Suzanne Roberts Theatre, at Broad and Pine Streets

Future site of SLS Hotel and Condominiums, at Broad and Spruce Streets

Future site of SLS Hotel and Condominiums, at Broad and Spruce Streets

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Long vacant Mt. Sinai Hospital buildings to be renovated into apartments in Pennsport

mt. sinai 1927 buildingLast summer I wrote about the Pennsport neighborhood in South Philadelphia.  Pennsport is south of Washington Avenue and just east of Columbus Boulevard, and it includes Jefferson Square and Dickinson Square Parks.  While the neighborhood is solidly middle-class and has little vacancy, it has been burdened by the hulking remains of the Mt. Sinai Hospital between Fourth and Fifth Streets and Reed and Dickinson Streets, just a few blocks north of the newly renovated Dickinson Square Park.  All but one building, in the complex, has been vacant for about seventeen years, and the vacant buildings are large enough to be seen from a distance.  The vacant hospital had been built in two phases, a six-storey brown-brick building, that was built in 1927 on Fifth Street, and a very modern extension on Fourth Street, also made of brown brick with large, modern plate-glass windows.  The red-brick former nurse’s home, on the corner of Fifth and Reed, has long since been renovated into senior housing.  A few years ago, a developer planned to renovate the existing vacant hospital (and add some floors) and create condos, but that plan fell through in the recession and real estate market crash of a few years ago.  Now, another developer would like to renovate the existing building into apartments and add some townhouses and a commercial space.

The renovation, being developed by Greenpointe Construction and designed by Barton Partners, will have 175 apartments and 37 townhouses.  The apartments will consist of 128 one-bedroom units, approximately 600 to 900 square feet, and 47 two-bedroom units, approximately 750 to 1,280 square feet.  The townhouses will be built on former surface parking lots at Fourth & Reed and on Fifth and Dickinson Streets.  The homes on Dickinson and Fifth Streets will have very traditional looking designs, but the homes at Fourth & Reed will have a very modern design, with modern panels and large picture windows and terraces.  The former ambulance drop off zone on Fourth Street will be filled in and used for a retail space of about 2,500 square feet, preferably a large restaurant, and there will be additional amenities inside for residents and some green space on the grounds.  There will be 157 parking spaces, mostly in a three storey parking structure on Fourth Street, and 79 bike parking spaces, and all the parking for the townhouses will be internal, so no garages facing the street.  The developers hope to have the original hospital building historically certified, so as to access historic tax credits.  Greenpointe received approval last week, on March 5, from the Zoning Board of Adjustment after a marathon hearing, so they can seek financing and tax credits and start construction of the first phase of townhomes in a timely manner.

The renovated Mt. Sinai Hospital would be a wonderful addition to the improved Pennsport/Jefferson Square/Dickinson Square West neighborhood.  Across Reed Street, the Jefferson Square Community Development Corporation rebuilt a blighted section of the neighborhood with expansive, family-style rowhomes about a decade ago.  The community groups have also been renovating Jefferson Square Park and the former Southwark housing project on Washington Avenue, in Queen Village, was also rebuilt over a decade ago.  Washington Avenue, Fifth Street, and Fourth Street have been experiencing quite a bit of new development in recent years, as have the busy nearby shopping districts on South Street (north of Pennsport), the Ninth Street (Italian) Market, and Passyunk Avenue (west of Pennsport).

If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in South Philadelphia, or any other neighborhood in the city, please contact me at gabriel.gottlieb@lnf.com or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, or check out our Long & Foster Center City office, here.  You can, also, view my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  You can view the ZBA decision, here, and check out renderings and my pictures of the site and neighborhood, below.

Rendering of Mt. Sinai Hospital redevelopment

Rendering of Mt. Sinai Hospital redevelopment

Aerial rendering of Mt. Sinai Hospital redevelopment

Aerial rendering of Mt. Sinai Hospital redevelopment

Mt. Sinai Hospital building, and parking lot, at Fourth and Reed Streets

Mt. Sinai Hospital building, and parking lot, at Fourth and Reed Streets

Mt. Sinai parking lot, at 4th and Reed Streets, will be replaced by townhouses

Mt. Sinai parking lot, at 4th and Reed Streets, will be replaced by townhouses

Rendering of modern townhouses at Fourth and Reed Streets

Rendering of modern townhouses at Fourth and Reed Streets

Modern wing of Mt. Sinai Hospital shows future retail (restaurant) space on Fourth Street

Modern wing of Mt. Sinai Hospital shows future retail (restaurant) space on Fourth Street

Original 1927 Mt. Sinai Hospital building, from Fifth Street

Original 1927 Mt. Sinai Hospital building, from Fifth Street

Mt. Sinai Hospital building at the corner of Fifth and Dickinson Streets

Mt. Sinai Hospital building at the corner of Fifth and Dickinson Streets

Site of the parking garage, behind the modern wing on Fourth Street

Site of the parking garage, behind the modern wing on Fourth Street

Former Mt. Sinai Nurse's Home, at Fifth and Reed Streets, is a senior apartment building

Former Mt. Sinai Nurse’s Home, at Fifth and Reed Streets, is a senior apartment building

Sign above the entrance of the former Mt. Sinai Nurse's Home

Sign above the entrance of the former Mt. Sinai Nurse’s Home

Sign for the senior apartment building in the former Nurse's Home

Sign for the senior apartment building in the former Nurse’s Home

Sign of former Mt. Sinai Hospital, at Fourth and Reed Streets

Sign of former Mt. Sinai Hospital, at Fourth and Reed Streets

Street signs at Fourth and Reed Streets

Street signs at Fourth and Reed Streets

Looking south down Fourth Street, across the street from Mt. Sinai Hospital

Looking south down Fourth Street, across the street from Mt. Sinai Hospital

Looking north up Fourth Street, towards Queen Village and Society Hill in Center City

Looking north up Fourth Street, towards Queen Village and Society Hill in Center City

Expansive rowhomes built by Jefferson Square Community Development Corporation, across Reed Street from Mt. Sinai Hospital

Expansive rowhomes built by Jefferson Square Community Development Corporation, across Reed Street from Mt. Sinai Hospital

Looking west on Reed Street

Looking west on Reed Street

Cafe on Fourth Street, a couple blocks south of likely new restaurant in Mt. Sinai Hospital conversion

Cafe on Fourth Street, a couple blocks south of likely new restaurant in Mt. Sinai Hospital conversion

Construction site of new home on Fourth Street, near Dickinson Square Park and a couple blocks south of Mt. Sinai Hospital

Construction site of new home on Fourth Street, near Dickinson Square Park and a couple blocks south of Mt. Sinai Hospital

Beautiful Dickinson Square Park, on Fourth Street, a couple blocks south of Mt. Sinai Hospital buildings

Beautiful Dickinson Square Park, on Fourth Street, a couple blocks south of Mt. Sinai Hospital buildings

New construction on Moyamensing Avenue, a couple blocks east of former Mt. Sinai Hospital

New construction on Moyamensing Avenue, a couple blocks east of former Mt. Sinai Hospital

Looking north up Moyamensing Avenue, through Queen Village to South Street

Looking north up Moyamensing Avenue, through Queen Village to South Street

Mummers marching through Pennsport on 2 Street (Second Street)

Mummers marching through Pennsport on 2 Street (Second Street)

Washington Avenue, north of the former Mt. Sinai Hospital

Washington Avenue, north of the former Mt. Sinai Hospital

Jefferson Square Park, at Fourth Street and Washington Avenue

Jefferson Square Park, at Fourth Street and Washington Avenue

Ninth Street (Italian) Market, four blocks west of the former Mt. Sinai Hospital

Ninth Street (Italian) Market, four blocks west of the former Mt. Sinai Hospital

Passyunk Avenue, west of the former Mt. Sinai Hospital

Passyunk Avenue, west of the former Mt. Sinai Hospital

This huge lot at Broad Street and Washington Avenue may have a large shopping complex someday soon

This huge lot at Broad Street and Washington Avenue may have a large shopping complex someday soon

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Museum Towers II is another big apartment development in Fairmount (Franklintown), but also has some townhouses

museumtowersIIAnother major rental housing development is about to be built in the Fairmount (Franklintown) neighborhood, just north of the Ben Franklin Parkway.  This new development will be an extension of the Museum Towers apartment building at 18th and Spring Garden and Buttonwood Streets, just north of the Matthias Baldwin Park (formerly Franklintown Park), and will be built on what is now a surface parking lot.  It is being developed by Forest City and designed by Perkins Eastman Architects and Studio Bryan Hanes.  This new development will be mostly apartments, but will have some large, luxury townhouses.

The new development will be called, simply enough, Museum Towers II.  It will be located just north of Matthias Baldwin Park, with a 16-storey highrise apartment tower on 18th Street and 16 townhouses facing the park and 19th Street.  The townhouses and tower will surround, and mostly hide, a 400 space parking garage.  The tower will have 270 upscale apartments and will have a modern, largely glass exterior.  The first floor will have a skylit lobby connected to Museum Towers I and community spaces for the whole complex.  There will, also, be a rooftop terrace on the top of the tower.  The townhouses will be three storeys, and the ones facing the park will be accessible from inside and have backyard decks and patios facing the park and skyline, while the townhouses facing 19th Street will have the front door along the street, across from The Tivoli Condominiums.  There will be some fencing on the top floor of the garage to hide it from the street, and park, views.  There will be a gate, along the north side of Baldwin Park, in order to separate the backyards of the those townhouses that run along the park, from the park itself.  The developers, also, plan to pay for renovations to Baldwin Park, including new lighting, paths, and benches.  Museum Towers II has recently been presented at the Planning Commission’s Civic Design Review meeting in January and will soon be considered by the full Planning Commission and likely the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  The development has been supported by the Logan Square Neighbor’s Association.

This is just the latest development in the Franklintown/Fairmount neighborhood.  The Granary Apartments, around the corner from Museum Towers, has recently opened up adding several retail spaces, that include a large pet store and several eateries, while the large Rodin Square development, with a one-acre plus Whole Foods supermarket and hundreds of apartments, will soon replace the recently-closed Best Western Hotel at 22nd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.  Another apartment development is proposed to be built on top of the former City Branch rail line and the Church of Latter Day Saints is planning to build a residential and commercial development, eventually, on the large parking lot at 16th and Vine Streets, across from their new Mormon Temple.  The City Branch right-of-way, which is submerged, may be renovated with a SEPTA bus rapid transit line and bike/walking paths, someday.  As if that isn’t enough, two large new midrise apartment buildings are proposed for the parking lots at Broad and Callowhill Streets and there may be new casino at the old Inquirer Building, along Callowhill Street, from Broad Street to 16th Street.  Also, the Ben Franklin Parkway is being enhanced with the new Barnes Foundation museum, at 20th Street,  the renovation and expansion of the Central Library, at 19th and Vine Streets, the renovation of the Rodin Museum, and the eventual renovation of the old Family Courts building into some kind of luxury hotel.  The Parkway, itself, is slowing being improved to be more fun and pedestrian-friendly, including the complete renovation of Sister Cities Park, which is just down the street from Museum Towers II on 18th Street.  And, as is well-known now, Comcast and Liberty Property Trust are about to build the second, taller Comcast tower, and new apartment developments are being built at 1900 Arch Street, 17th and Arch Streets, and 23rd and Summer Streets.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Fairmount, or any other neighborhood in the city, please contact me at Gabriel.gottlieb@lnf.com or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, and you can learn more about our Long & Foster Center City office, here.  And, you can check out my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, and my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  Also, you can view this summary of the Civic Design Review meeting’s discussions and recommendations, here, and look at renderings and my pictures of the site and neighborhood, below.

Overview of Museum Towers complex

Overview of Museum Towers complex

Site of the future townhouses at Museum Towers, at 19th Street and north of Matthias Baldwin Park

Site of the future townhouses at Museum Towers, at 19th Street and north of Matthias Baldwin Park

Townhouses along 19th Street and Baldwin Park

Townhouses along 19th Street and Baldwin Park

Looking south into Matthias Baldwin Park, from 19th Street

Looking south into Matthias Baldwin Park, from 19th Street

Sign, on 19th Street, explains the history of the Baldwin Locomotive Works

Sign, on 19th Street, explains the history of the Baldwin Locomotive Works

Looking back at the site of Museum Towers II and the existing Museum Towers building and Spring Garden Tower, from Baldwin Park to the south

Looking back at the site of Museum Towers II and the existing Museum Towers building and Spring Garden Tower, from Baldwin Park to the south

The Tivoli Condominiums, next to Baldwin Park, on 19th Street

The Tivoli Condominiums, next to Baldwin Park, on 19th Street

Looking south at the Center City skyline, from Baldwin Park

Looking south at the Center City skyline, from Baldwin Park

Future site of Museum Towers II highrise apartment building, on 18th Street

Future site of Museum Towers II highrise apartment building, on 18th Street

Rendering of the tower of Museum Towers II

Rendering of the tower of Museum Towers II

Looking west, from 18th Street

Looking west, from 18th Street

Entrance to Museum Towers parking lot, where Buttonwood Street would be

Entrance to Museum Towers parking lot, where Buttonwood Street would be

Entrance and lobby, for both buildings, of Museum Towers

Entrance and lobby, for both buildings, of Museum Towers

Looking south, towards Center City, from 18th & Buttonwood Streets

Looking south, towards Center City, from 18th & Buttonwood Streets

Looking south into Baldwin Park, from 18th Street

Looking south into Baldwin Park, from 18th Street

Looking south down 18th Street

Looking south down 18th Street

Community College of Philadelphia campus buildings, across 18th Street

Community College of Philadelphia campus buildings, across 18th Street

Retail on 19th Street, just south of Spring Garden Street

Retail on 19th Street, just south of Spring Garden Street

Looking north into Baldwin Park, from 18th Street

Looking north into Baldwin Park, from 18th Street

Looking south down Franklintown Boulevard

Looking south down Franklintown Boulevard

Development site at Callowhill Street and Franklintown Boulevard

Development site at Callowhill Street and Franklintown Boulevard

Mormon Temple, under construction, at Vine St. and Franklintown Boulevard

Mormon Temple, under construction, at Vine St. and Franklintown Boulevard

Parking lot, at Vine Street and Franklintown Blouevard, could be developed soon

Parking lot, at Vine Street and Franklintown Blouevard, could be developed soon

Family Courts Building, at 19th and Vine Streets, will be sold to developers soon to be converted to a luxury hotel

Family Courts Building, at 19th and Vine Streets, will be sold to developers soon to be converted to a luxury hotel

Back of the Central Library, at 19th and Callowhill Streets, could see an expansion sometime soon

Back of the Central Library, at 19th and Callowhill Streets, could see an expansion sometime soon

The Barnes Foundation, on The Ben Franklin Parkway

The Barnes Foundation, on The Ben Franklin Parkway

Looking east down The Parkway

Looking east down The Parkway

Looking west down The Parkway, towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Looking west down The Parkway, towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Sister Cities Park will be down the street from Museum Towers II

Sister Cities Park will be down the street from Museum Towers II

The submerged City Branch rail right-of-way is south of Baldwin Park and could be converted for mass-transit and park use

The submerged City Branch rail right-of-way is south of Baldwin Park and could be converted for mass-transit and park use

Tivoli Condominiums, at 19th and Hamilton Streets, across from Baldwin Park and the future site of the Museum Towers II townhouses

Tivoli Condominiums, at 19th and Hamilton Streets, across from Baldwin Park and the future site of the Museum Towers II townhouses

The Granary Apartments, at 19th and Callowhill Streets, has several new retail establishments

The Granary Apartments, at 19th and Callowhill Streets, has several new retail establishments

Best Western Hotel, at 22nd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, will soon be replaced with Rodin Square, including a large new Whole Foods supermarket

Best Western Hotel, at 22nd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, will soon be replaced with Rodin Square, including a large new Whole Foods supermarket

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