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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About gabrielcgottlieb

I am a real estate agent at Long & Foster Real Estate Center City and someone who likes to write about development and urban planning in the City of Philadelphia. Contact me at Gabriel.gottlieb@LNF.com if you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Philadelphia.
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