Another 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.email@example.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.