A new apartment and retail development, on the 1100 block of Chestnut Street, could lead to a long-awaited transformation of this stretch of Chestnut Street, adjacent to Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital. Chestnut Street East has been somewhat depressed for many years, with low-end retail, little activity at night, and quite a bit of vacancy in the retail spaces and the upper floors of buildings, many of them historic structures with attractive architecture. The area has not been affected yet, in a major way, by the upscale development boom happening in most of the surrounding neighborhoods of Center City. This new development, which includes the renovation of one of the most derelict looking buildings and replacing two others at 1118 Chestnut Street (and which may include a very high-profile grocery store), is just what Chestnut East needs to finally take part in the Center City boom.
The new development is being built by Brickstone Realty and designed by Blackney Hayes Architects. The oldest building, on the west side of the site, will be renovated and the neighboring buildings on the east side will be demolished and replaced with a seven storey building connected to the renovated one. It will have 80 apartments, on the third through the seventh floors, and 70,000 square feet of retail space on the first and second floors. There will be 60 one-bedroom units, ranging in size from 300 to 820 square feet, and 20 two-bedroom units, ranging in size from 1,000 to 1,100 square feet. There will be no parking, but there will be 27 bike parking spaces. This is the third major development, in this part of Center City, that will not have parking on site (the others include 1213 Walnut Street, around the corner from 1118 Chestnut, and The Sansom, at 16th and Sansom Streets). The developers said that they have talked to nearby parking garage owners about reserving spaces if they have enough parking demand for it, but like with the other projects, they don’t expect much demand for parking in this convenient and transit-rich section of the city. The retail may be the most exciting aspect of this project. The developers may have several separate stores or they may use the first floor for one large grocery store. Rumors are swirling that the grocery store would be Trader Joe’s, but a member of the development team wouldn’t confirm that when I spoke to him after a recent Zoning Board hearing. Trader Joe’s would be a very high-profile tenant, as the Trader Joe’s at 22nd and Market Streets is VERY popular and crowded almost all the time, and that would bring renewed attention, and likely more residents and development, to this area. We will likely find out soon what the tenant, or tenants, will be because the developers received approval from the Zoning Board on October 30 and expect to start construction within the next few months.
This is certainly not the only development happening in that area, though. Market Street East is likely to see a couple long-awaited developments, as well, including a large mixed-use development at 12th & Market, a half block away from 1118 Chestnut and across from the Reading Terminal building, and the renovation of The Gallery mall (details of both those developments are supposed to be revealed early next year). The former Strawbridge and Clothier building is, also, rumored to be getting a large and upscale food market called Eataly. Chestnut Street East has seen a bit of development in recent years, such as the renovation of 1201 Chestnut Street (at the same intersection as this project) into The Commonwealth Apartments and the renovation of the very historic Victory Building, at 10th & Chestnut, into The Victory Condominiums. DiBruno Brothers has, also, opened up an upscale deli at 9th & Chestnut Streets. A couple new developments are planned nearby on Chestnut, including the renovation of the Bailey Building, on the 1200 block, into a trendy hotel and the construction of a 52-storey hotel at 15th & Chestnut Streets. And, Walnut Street nearby is very busy and has seen the construction of a couple new medical buildings recently and may see the construction of a 26-storey apartment building and hotel on the 1200 block soon. The new development at 1118 Chestnut will probably make those planned developments more likely, as well as, lead to several more being built because of the redevelopment of these blighted properties.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home or investment property in this improving area of the city, or any other area, please contact me at Gabriel.firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, or learn about our Long & Foster Center City office (near 1118 Chestnut Street), here. You can, also, view my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE. And, you can view the Zoning Board approval, here, and my pictures of the site and neighborhood, below.