Another new apartment complex is planned for South Kensington, between Germantown Avenue and American Street, across the street from the future site of Soko Lofts. This new complex, to be called Liberty Square and being developed by Blackstone Development and designed by the prolific firm Harman Deutsch, will have a similar layout to Soko Lofts and The Piazza development a few blocks to the south, in that it will surround a plaza with several public access points to surrounding streets. Liberty Square, at 1203 Germantown Avenue, will take up most of the block bounded by American Street, Thompson Street, Germantown Avenue, and Stiles Street, just one short block north of Girard Avenue and around the corner from the SuperFresh supermarket, at the Shops at The Piazza. There are currently a couple of warehouses and overgrown empty lots on the site. These apartments will be designed for creative professionals with live/work spaces and ground level studio workspaces, as well as, several retail spaces.
Liberty Square will have 191 residential units in three buildings of five storeys each. Ten additional units, on the first floor, will be live/work spaces for artists and creative professionals that have studio/gallery space at the street level and a loft living space on a mezzanine in the back of the unit. Each apartment will have a balcony, some offering great views of the Center City skyline and others will face the Delaware River waterfront. There will, also, be setbacks and terraces above the third floor. The buildings will surround a landscaped plaza measuring 50 feet across with five access points leading to the surrounding streets on each side of the complex. There will be 153 parking spaces, entirely underground, and bike storage. The first floor will have approximately 12,000 square feet of retail space and a community room in the northern building, which will have a public entrance on Thompson Street. There will, also, be commercial space on the first floor that could be used for studio and/or office space for creative companies and artists. The exterior will have metal panels and dark brick on the ground level, as well as, large windows and sliding doors for the balconies. The development will have extensive sustainable features, including solar panels, energy-efficient lighting, an underground filtration system, and a recycling plan. Trees will be planted along all the surrounding sidewalks. A small sausage factory and warehouse will remain on American Street, and four rowhomes will remain on Stiles Street, on the south side of the block, and there will be a small side yard on one side of the block of homes. The developers hope to begin construction very soon. They received approval from the Planning Commission’s Civic Design Review committee, in September, and are scheduled to be voted upon by the full Planning Commission, at their monthly meeting on November 19, and then the project is scheduled for a hearing and vote in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustment on November 20. Approval by these city agencies is very likely, as there was enthusiastic support by community groups and little controversy at the often contentious Civic Design Review meeting.
As I already mentioned, Liberty Square will be cater-corner to Soko Lofts, another mixed-use development surrounding a plaza, and around the corner from the new supermarket complex connected to the popular Piazza development, which has a large, busy plaza and many loft-style apartments, retail, and creative workspaces. The nexus of South Kensington, Fishtown, and Northern Liberties is experiencing lots of development, large and small. Other developments in the neighborhood include Oxford Mills, an apartment complex with discounted apartments for teachers at Front and Oxford Streets, the Albert J. Reach baseball factory, which is being converted into loft apartments in Fishtown, and a loft apartment conversion at 1421 Columbia Avenue. Along the waterfront, the Ajax warehouse, at Delaware Avenue and Frankford Avenue, is being converted to a large entertainment complex and two old warehouses, at Delaware Avenue and Brown Street, are being converted to apartments known as The Pennthouses, by developer Core Realty, which plans a much larger redevelopment of the area. Also, the developer of The Piazza, Tower Development, plans to expand the complex with more apartments, retail, a hotel, and highrises. Tower Development, also, owns an empty lot at Second Street and Girard Avenue, across the street from the supermarket and Shops at The Piazza. So, this is another area of the city exploding with new, transformative development.
If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in this prosperous area of the city, or any other area in the city, please contact me at Gabriel.firstname.lastname@example.org or view my Long & Foster agent portal, here, and you can find out more about our Long & Foster Center City office, here. You can, also, check out my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE. I have a link to a description of Liberty Square from Blackstone Development’s website, here, and the most recent renderings of the project and pictures of the future site of Liberty Square, and the surrounding neighborhood, below.