New apartment development, with a major grocery store, could be transformative for Chestnut East

rendering of 1118 chestnutA 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 HospitalChestnut 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.gottlieb@lnf.com 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.

Rendering of 1118 Chestnut Street

Rendering of 1118 Chestnut Street

Buildings at 1118-28 Chestnut Street at present

Buildings at 1118-28 Chestnut Street at present

Buildings on the eastern end of the site will be demolished and replaced with new construction

Buildings on the eastern end of the site will be demolished and replaced with new construction

1128 Chestnut Street will be renovated

1128 Chestnut Street will be renovated

Retail space at 1118 Chestnut Street could have Trader Joe's

Retail space at 1118 Chestnut Street could have Trader Joe’s

Street sign for 12th Street, in front of 1118 Chestnut Street

Street sign for 12th Street, in front of 1118 Chestnut Street

Looking east down Chestnut Street, shows Jefferson Hospital on the right

Looking east down Chestnut Street, shows Jefferson Hospital on the right

Across Chestnut Street, from 1118 Chestnut Street

Across Chestnut Street, from 1118 Chestnut Street

Looking west on Chestnut Street

Looking west on Chestnut Street

Looking south on 12th Street

Looking south on 12th Street

Looking north on 12th Street towards Market Street and Loews PSFS Hotel and Girard Estate site

Looking north on 12th Street towards Market Street and Loews PSFS Hotel and Girard Estate site

1201 Chestnut Street, also known as The Commonwealth Apartments, on the northwest corner of 12th and Chestnut Streets

1201 Chestnut Street, also known as The Commonwealth Apartments, on the northwest corner of 12th and Chestnut Streets

Beneficial Savings Fund building, on the southwest corner of 12th and Chestnut Streets

Beneficial Savings Fund building, on the southwest corner of 12th and Chestnut Streets

The White Building Condominiums, on the southeast corner of 12th and Chestnut Streets

The White Building Condominiums, on the southeast corner of 12th and Chestnut Streets

Looking west on Market Street, from 12th Street, towards City Hall

Looking west on Market Street, from 12th Street, towards City Hall

Looking east on Market Street, from 12th Street, with Reading Terminal building on the left and the Girard Estate site on the right

Looking east on Market Street, from 12th Street, with Reading Terminal building on the left and the Girard Estate site on the right

Girard Estate site on Market Street

Girard Estate site on Market Street

Historically-certified Steven Girard Building on 12th Street, between Market and Chestnut Streets

Historically-certified Steven Girard Building on 12th Street, between Market and Chestnut Streets

Vacant buildings, at 11th and Chestnut Streets, being renovated a bit

Vacant buildings, at 11th and Chestnut Streets, being renovated a bit

The Victory Condominiums, at 11th and Chestnut Streets

The Victory Condominiums, at 11th and Chestnut Streets

The Bailey Building, on the 1200 block of Chestnut

The Bailey Building, on the 1200 block of Chestnut

Future site of W and Element hotel at 15th and Chestnut Streets

Future site of W and Element hotel at 15th and Chestnut Streets

1100 block of Walnut Street

1100 block of Walnut Street, shows Jefferson campus and Forrest Theatre

Future site of 1213 Walnut Street, a 26-storey apartment and hotel building

Future site of 1213 Walnut Street, a 26-storey apartment and hotel building

My Long & Foster real estate office, in the Curtis Center at 6th and Walnut Streets, across from Independence Hall

My Long & Foster real estate office, in the Curtis Center at 6th and Walnut Streets, across from Independence Hall

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Folsom Powerhouse will add some of the most modern and sustainable housing in the Francisville neighborhood

rendering of folsom powerhouseMy second article on this blog was about the up-and-coming Francisville neighborhood, just north of the Spring Garden neighborhood.  Francisville is the oldest neighborhood of North Philadelphia and the original streets were laid out to be parallel and perpendicular to Ridge Avenue, just west of Broad Street and north of Fairmount Avenue.  When the street grid of Center City was expanded northward, it caused a lot of wedge-shaped blocks to be created in Francisville and made the neighborhood very confusing to walk around.  Perhaps that is one reason why Francisville took a while to experience the revitalization and building boom of neighboring communities, but now the neighborhood is experiencing the same kind of building boom and vacant lots are being developed on almost every block that still has them.  My first article about Francisville focused on quality affordable housing being built around 15th and Poplar Streets, as most housing a few years ago was being built by the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation.  But today, most of the development is by private developers, building market rate housing and new retail space, as well.

One of the most innovative housing developments being built right now in Francisville is a development called the Folsom Powerhouse, being developed by PostGreen Homes, Equinox Management & Construction, and designed by Interface Studios.  The unusual name refers to Folsom Street, a small street a block north of Fairmount Avenue that runs from 18th Street to 17th Street, across from the recently renovated Francisville Playground.  Most of the block at 18th and Folsom will be redeveloped by a housing development that will have a mix of townhouses, condos, and rentals.  There will be townhouses along Folsom and Olive Streets and apartments and condos at the corners along 18th Street, for a total of 31 housing units.  There will, also, be a space for a café or small restaurant at the corner of 18th and Folsom, and three existing rowhomes on the site will remain.  The housing units will have many sustainable features, such as Energy Star appliances and HVAC, green rooves, solar panels, energy-efficient windows, and clean indoor air quality, among others.  The exterior will be covered in brown and gray brick, corrugated metal, large windows, and wood paneling, that will include wooden planters on the first floor.  There will be glow-in-the-dark paint, on the ground level wall, that will create a pattern at night shaped like roots, designed by artist Jenny Sabin.  There will, also, be metal and stone “super stoops”, for the townhouses, that will provide much room for residents to sit on and meet their neighbors.  Parking will be accessible from Olive Street and there will, also, be bike parking.  I attended the groundbreaking ceremony a few weeks ago.  At the ceremony, neighborhood residents were encouraged to give feedback about the neighborhood and project.

The Folsom Powerhouse is just a block north of Fairmount Avenue.  That stretch of Fairmount Avenue is experiencing a building boom of new development that is bringing several new apartment buildings with retail to the avenue.  There are new apartment developments, with retail, on Fairmount at 1720 Fairmount, at 19th Street, at Uber Street, and two at 15th Street.  There have, also, been several townhouse developments along Fairmount.  On the other side of the Francisville Playground there are several other developments being built and a large apartment and townhouse development planned for a triangular-shaped block across from the playground.  Further east in Francisville several developments are underway, such as the Vineyards on 16, and several more are planned, including several developments on long-dormant Ridge Avenue, which community groups are hoping to turn into another live/work district for artists.  As if all that isn’t enough, the vacant Divine Lorraine Hotel, at Broad and Fairmount, is scheduled to be renovated into apartments soon by EBRM Realty.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in this rapidly up-and-coming neighborhood, or any other 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, view my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  And, you can learn more about the Folsom Powerhouse on their website, here, and check out renderings and my pictures of the site, the groundbreaking ceremony, and the neighborhood, below.

Rendering of Folsom Powerhouse

Rendering of Folsom Powerhouse

Future site of Folsom Powerhouse, @ 18th and Folsom Streets

Future site of Folsom Powerhouse, @ 18th and Folsom Streets

Rendering of Folsom Powerhouse, at 18th and Folsom Streets

Rendering of Folsom Powerhouse, at 18th and Folsom Streets

Site of Folsom Powerhouse, from 18th and Olive Streets

Site of Folsom Powerhouse, from 18th and Olive Streets

Rendering from 18th and Olive Streets

Rendering from 18th and Olive Streets

Looking down Olive Street, from 18th Street

Looking down Olive Street, from 18th Street

Looking at the future site of the Folsom Powerhouse, from Folsom Street

Looking at the future site of the Folsom Powerhouse, from Folsom Street

Facades of Folsom Powerhouse townhouses

Facades of Folsom Powerhouse townhouses

Rendering of the townhouses up close

Rendering of the townhouses up close

Close up of the "superstoops", with artistic railings by Jenny Sabin

Close up of the “superstoops”, with artistic railings by Jenny Sabin

Glow-in-the-dark paintings by artist Jenny Sabin

Glow-in-the-dark paintings by artist Jenny Sabin

Folsom Street street sign

Folsom Street street sign

Looking east down Folsom Street

Looking east down Folsom Street

Street signs at 18th and Francis Streets

Street signs at 18th and Francis Streets

Francisville Playground, across Francis Street from future Folsom Powerhouse

Francisville Playground, across Francis Street from future Folsom Powerhouse

Looking east down Francis Street

Looking east down Francis Street

Looking west down Francis Street

Looking west down Francis Street

Looking south down 18th Street, from the corner of Folsom Street

Looking south down 18th Street, from the corner of Folsom Street

Crowds gathered for groundbreaking ceremony of Folsom Powerhouse

Crowds gathered for groundbreaking ceremony of Folsom Powerhouse

Ceremonial digging at groundbreaking of Folsom Powerhouse

Ceremonial digging at groundbreaking of Folsom Powerhouse

Sign at groundbreaking describing the project

Sign at groundbreaking describing the project

Community input board at groundbreaking ceremony

Community input board at groundbreaking ceremony

People at community input board

People at community input board

Looking at the site from 17th and Folsom Streets, overgrown community garden in the foreground

Looking at the site from 17th and Folsom Streets, overgrown community garden in the foreground

Peanut (art) Gallery at 18th Street and Fairmount Avenue

Peanut (art) Gallery at 18th Street and Fairmount Avenue

Vacant bank building @ 18th and Fairmount

Vacant bank building @ 18th and Fairmount

Looking west on Fairmount Avenue, from 18th Street

Looking west on Fairmount Avenue, from 18th Street

Looking east down Fairmount Avenue, from 18th Street

Looking east down Fairmount Avenue, from 18th Street

The "Spring Gardens", a couple blocks south of future Folsom Powerhouse

The “Spring Gardens”, a couple blocks south of future Folsom Powerhouse

Carriage House Apartments, just south of 18th & Fairmount

Carriage House Apartments, just south of 18th & Fairmount

Modern apartment building on the 1700 block of Fairmount Avenue

Modern apartment building on the 1700 block of Fairmount Avenue

Site at 1720 Fairmount Avenue, will have a 21-unit apartment building and retail

Site at 1720 Fairmount Avenue, will have a 21-unit apartment building and retail

JBJ Soul Homes, being built @ 15th Street, Ridge and Fairmount Avenues

JBJ Soul Homes, being built @ 15th Street, Ridge and Fairmount Avenues

Divine Lorraine Hotel, at Broad Street, Ridge and Fairmount Avenues, may be renovated into apartments soon

Divine Lorraine Hotel, at Broad Street, Ridge and Fairmount Avenues, may be renovated into apartments soon

New apartment building, with retail, @ 19th Street and Fairmount Avenue

New apartment building, with retail, @ 19th Street and Fairmount Avenue

Another new apartment building with retail, @ Fairmount Avenue and Uber Street

Another new apartment building with retail, @ Fairmount Avenue and Uber Street

Vineyards on 16, under construction in Francisville

Vineyards on 16, under construction in Francisville

New homes @ 15th and Poplar Streets in Francisville

New homes @ 15th and Poplar Streets in Francisville

Looking south down Ridge Avenue, towards Broad Street, in Francisville

Looking south down Ridge Avenue, towards Broad Street, in Francisville

Looking north up Ridge Avenue, towards Girard Avenue

Looking north up Ridge Avenue, towards Girard Avenue

New art gallery on Ridge Avenue in Francisville, near 17th Street

New art gallery on Ridge Avenue in Francisville, near 17th Street

Site of future large development, north of Francisville Playground

Site of future large development, north of Francisville Playground

New townhouses on 19th Street, north of Francisville Playground

New townhouses on 19th Street, north of Francisville Playground

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FringeArts creates new performance and artistic hub on the Delaware waterfront

fringearts new hqThe Philly Fringe/Live Arts Festival is a unique, avant-garde arts festival held in the city every September.  Fringe festivals have become popular, in some cities, as a way to show unusual and avant-garde performances that wouldn’t normally be seen in more mainstream venues.  Philadelphia’s Fringe Festival is one of the biggest and had merged with another, similar festival, the Live Arts Festival, a few years ago.  Over the course of the two to three week festival, the Philly Fringe would use various venues in neighborhoods like Old City, Northern Liberties, Washington Square West, and Fishtown for performances of unique dance, theatre, and music.  The Festival organizers would plan throughout the year for the popular and ever-growing festival, that was attracting tourists from far and away.  The festival’s organizers never had a permanent venue to do their planning in or for events at other times of the year, so a few years ago they sought out a permanent home for year-round programming and planning.

They, eventually, decided to buy an old, unused water pumping station at the intersection of Delaware Avenue and Race Street.  The pumping station is a little red-brick building, which was built in 1903, almost underneath the Ben Franklin Bridge.  It used to pump water to fire hydrants in much of Center City, until it was decommissioned in 2005, and it had been largely overlooked and forgotten.  The organization, which recently changed its name to FringeArts, is using the renovated building as their headquarters, not just for the annual festival, but for year-round programming.  To that end, they have their offices and rehearsal space in the 10,000 square foot building, but the featured space is a 240-seat theatre, with retractable seating, and gallery space for fine art shows.  There is, also, a restaurant/café that will have outdoor seating on a plaza next to Race Street, which will replace a small driveway next to the building.  The outdoor plaza will be used for the festival and other events, which may also be held on the Race Street Pier, a park built on an old pier, across Delaware Avenue, in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge.  Both outdoor locations will have incredible views of the Ben Franklin Bridge, day and night.  The bathrooms in the FringeArts headquarters will be available for unaffiliated events on the Race Street Pier, so the City’s Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is paying for those facilities.  The new FringeArts headquarters and space will keep this part of Delaware Avenue and the waterfront busy with edgy performing and creative arts, extending the large artistic community of Old City and Northern Liberties to a once forgotten section of the Delaware waterfront.

The FringeArts headquarters and the Race Street Pier are connected back to Old City by a colorful, well-lit “connector”, under I-95 and the Market/Frankford line, known as the Race Street Connector.  The Race Street Connector has a large sign pointing to the river and the city and colorful lights and a video feed on a screen on top of the overpass, from a camera facing the river, of the surface of the water.  Just a couple of blocks from the FringeArts headquarters, a developer would like to build a modern apartment tower with retail, at Second and Race Streets, and several new developments are planned for Old City, such as housing along Second Street, Market Street, and a new, upscale market at Third & Arch Streets.  Northern Liberties and South Kensington are experiencing new development, such as an expansion of The Piazza developments, the Soko Lofts, and Liberty Square.  Along the waterfront, major residential development is planned for Delaware Avenue and Vine Street, Delaware Avenue and Callowhill Street, The Pennthouses at 700 North Delaware Avenue (under construction), an apartment building at Pier 34; just south of the Dockside Condominiums; and townhouses at Columbus Boulevard and Catharine Street.  Developer Core Realty is planning a large entertainment center at Frankford and Delaware Avenues and a redevelopment of Canal Street, off of Delaware Avenue, with small and unique shops, restaurants, and cafes.  Another developer is planning to build a House of Blues concert hall about a mile north of the FringeArts headquarters and the SugarHouse casino is about to expand, as well.  And, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is designing a plan to redevelop Penn’s Landing with more entertainment and recreation, imbetween new residential and commercial development, and is breaking ground today on a new park on Pier 53 on Columbus Boulevard (Delaware Avenue south).  So, as you can see, the new FringeArts headquarters adds a diverse and avant-garde artistic element to the rapidly developing Delaware waterfront.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in the neighborhoods near the Delaware River waterfront, 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 realtor Facebook page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, and my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  And, you can learn more about FringeArts and their new home on their website, here.  Also, you can see my photos of the new FringeArts home and the waterfront and surrounding neighborhood, below.

The new FringeArts headquarters and performance space

The new FringeArts headquarters and performance space

FringeArts headquarters from a distance

FringeArts headquarters from a distance

The new FringeArts headquarters up close

The new FringeArts headquarters up close

The FringeArts headquarters at night

The FringeArts headquarters at night

The northern side of the FringeArts headquarters will have a public plaza and a café with outdoor seating

The northern side of the FringeArts headquarters will have a public plaza and a café with outdoor seating

Sign announcing FringeArts' new home

Sign announcing FringeArts’ new home

Event space inside the FringeArts headquarters

Event space inside the FringeArts headquarters

The front of the building has a reminder of the building's history

The front of the building has a reminder of the building’s history

Looking east towards the Delaware River

Looking east towards the Delaware River

View of the Ben Franklin Bridge from where the FringeArts' plaza will be

View of the Ben Franklin Bridge from where the FringeArts’ plaza will be

Race Street Pier, across Delaware Avenue from the FringeArts headquarters

Race Street Pier, across Delaware Avenue from the FringeArts headquarters

Ben Franklin Bridge at night

Ben Franklin Bridge at night

Pier 9, on Delaware Avenue, may be renovated soon

Pier 9, on Delaware Avenue, may be renovated soon

Looking south down Delaware Avenue, with the Comfort Inn next to the FringeArts headquarters

Looking south down Delaware Avenue, with the Comfort Inn next to the FringeArts headquarters

Looking north up Delaware Avenue and underneath the Ben Franklin Bridge

Looking north up Delaware Avenue and underneath the Ben Franklin Bridge

Underneath the Ben Franklin Bridge

Underneath the Ben Franklin Bridge

Looking west on Race Street, towards the Race Street Connector and Old City

Looking west on Race Street, towards the Race Street Connector and Old City

Penn's Landing boat basin

Penn’s Landing boat basin

Great Plaza at Penn's Landing may be redeveloped soon

Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing may be redeveloped soon

La Veranda restaurant is nearby at Pier 3 apartments

La Veranda restaurant is nearby at Pier 3 apartments

Camden waterfront, across from Race Street Pier and Penn's Landing, has concerts and other entertainment

Camden waterfront, across from Race Street Pier and Penn’s Landing, has concerts and other entertainment

Pier 34 is slated to have a 16-storey apartment building soon

Pier 34 is slated to have a 16-storey apartment building soon

Dockside Condos, south of Penn's Landing on Delaware Avenue

Dockside Condos, south of Penn’s Landing on Delaware Avenue

Site of future apartment building at Delaware Avenue and Vine Street, just north of the Ben Franklin Bridge

Site of future apartment building at Delaware Avenue and Vine Street, just north of the Ben Franklin Bridge

Future site of a large apartment development at Delaware Avenue and Callowhill Street

Future site of a large apartment development at Delaware Avenue and Callowhill Street

Festival Pier, on north Delaware Avenue, has concerts and may be redeveloped soon

Festival Pier, on north Delaware Avenue, has concerts and may be redeveloped soon

SoundGarden Hall, at Delaware Avenue and Spring Garden Street, has many up and coming bands

SoundGarden Hall, at Delaware Avenue and Spring Garden Street, has many up and coming bands

New river walk trail, at Delaware Avenue and Penn Street

New river walk trail, at Delaware Avenue and Penn Street

The Pennthouses at 700 North Delaware Avenue

The Pennthouses at 700 North Delaware Avenue

Ajax warehouse, at Delaware and Frankford Avenues, will be the Canal North entertainment complex

Ajax warehouse, at Delaware and Frankford Avenues, will be the Canal North entertainment complex

Rendering of the House of Blues concert hall, to be built on the waterfront about a mile north of the FringeArts headquarters

Rendering of the House of Blues concert hall, to be built on the waterfront about a mile north of the FringeArts headquarters

Site of future apartment building at Second and Race Streets

Site of future apartment building at Second and Race Streets

Race Street Connector, pointing west towards the city

Race Street Connector, pointing west towards the city

Race Street Connector, with "Rivercam" screen, pointing west towards the Delaware River

Race Street Connector, with “Rivercam” screen, pointing west towards the Delaware River

Looking south down Second Street in Old City

Looking south down Second Street in Old City

The Arden Theatre, at Second and Church Streets, is near the FringeArts headquarters

The Arden Theatre, at Second and Church Streets, is near the FringeArts headquarters

Second and Market Streets in Old City

Second and Market Streets in Old City

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Rodin Square, a large apartment complex with a mega-sized Whole Foods in Fairmount, will begin construction soon

rodinsquare2Another large apartment complex, this time with a one acre-plus sized Whole Foods supermarket, is going to break ground soon in the Fairmount neighborhood.  This complex will be called Rodin Square and it will be behind the Rodin Museum, and just north of the Ben Franklin Parkway.  It will replace the Best Western hotel, which takes up most of the block bounded by Hamilton Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, 21st Street, 22nd Street, and Spring Garden Street.  A few years ago, a developer wanted to build a highrise condo tower, to be called Parkway 22, but those plans fell through because of the recession (the developers did demolish one building of the Best Western, that was at the corner of 22nd and Spring Garden Streets).  The Whole Foods market is moving from across 21st Street, where it is located in a building with a surface parking lot.  That site may, also, be redeveloped sometime soon.  Rodin Square has been approved by the City Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment to begin construction.

This new mixed-use complex is being built by Dalian Development and designed by Barton Partners and MV&A Architects.  It will have 293 luxury apartments in a nine-storey building, that will be 122 feet tall.  The first floor will have the 55,000 square foot Whole Foods and 19,000 square feet of other retail.  The supermarket will have a 5,000 square foot café, which may include outdoor seating, and the market will have a glass curtain wall along Pennsylvania Avenue and Hamilton Street (the glass wall may have windows that open to the outdoor seating).  There will, also, be retail at the corner of 22nd and Spring Garden Streets.  The supermarket will be on two levels, and there will be office space at the second level of the 22nd and Spring Garden corner and a community room for the residents, on the second level, at 21st and Hamilton Streets.  The main entrance to the residences will be on 21st Street, with stairs in the lobby leading to the community room.  There will be 270 parking spaces for residents in an above ground garage on the 21st Street side and 172 parking spaces underground for the customers of the supermarket and other retail.  The loading docks will be hidden in a special driveway running from 21st Street to 22nd Street.  The apartment tower will be divided into two wings coming off a central portion and will be covered in large glass windows, except on the north side of the central portion, which will have some metal panels.  There is an additional empty lot on the north, Spring Garden Street side that is still for sale, but that could be bought by the developers, of Rodin Square, to be developed in the future.  There will be a green roof on the top of the highrise portion and a large patio and green roof, with a pool, above the supermarket facing Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum, and the Parkway.

The plaza overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue and the Parkway is one of the most interesting features of this project.  The layout of this building with a plaza and a shorter highrise building behind it is reminiscent of mid-twentieth century modern hotels that were common in cities like Los Angeles or Miami, unlike the highrise luxury apartment and condo buildings in most of Center City.  This site, adjacent to the Parkway, is one of the few locations in Center City where this style of residential living, with this type of layout, could be built.  Other developments, that have recently happened in the Fairmount neighborhood (also known as Franklintown, south of Spring Garden Street) include the Barnes Foundation museum on the Parkway at 20th Street, The Granary apartments and retail on Callowhill Street between 19th & 20th Streets, and The Tivoli Condominiums and townhouses, at 19th and Hamilton Streets.  Future developments in the neighborhood include Museum Towers II, planned for 19th Street, the Mormon Temple, under construction at 17th and Vine Streets, a large mixed-use project, at 16th & Vine Streets, proposed by the Church of Latter Day Saints, the expansion of the Central Branch of the Free Library, at 20th and Callowhill Streets, the renovation of the soon-to-be former Family Courts building, on Vine Street, into a luxury hotel, and another highrise apartment tower planned to be built over the submerged Reading Viaduct City Branch at 21st Street, which may have a Bus Rapid Transit line and a jogging trail along it someday.  The Parkway is experiencing many enhancements, including the completed Sister Cities Park, renovations to Dilworth Plaza at City Hall, which are underway, and rebuilding of Love Park and Eakins Oval, at either ends of the Parkway.  South of the Parkway are other residential developments, such as the 1900 Arch apartments, The Arch apartments, at 17th and Arch Streets, and the 1919 Market Street apartment tower, at 20th and Market Streets.  Also, developers Liberty Property Trust would like to build office buildings at 19th and Arch and 18th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, as well as, a large mixed-use project on Arch Street between 18th and 19th Streets.

Having this mega-sized store, and another large, swanky apartment complex along Pennsylvania Avenue, would be a nice enhancement of the Art Museum neighborhood.  If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Center City, or other neighborhoods in the city, then 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, view my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  You can, also, view the Zoning Board of Adjustment approval, here, and check out renderings and my pictures of the site and neighborhood, below.

Rendering of Rodin Square, from south side

Rendering of Rodin Square, from south side

Rodin Square, from Pennsylvania Avenue

Rodin Square, from Pennsylvania Avenue

The Best Western hotel, from the corner of 22nd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue

The Best Western hotel, from the corner of 22nd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue

Best Western hotel along Pennsylvania Avenue, where façade of Whole Foods will be

Best Western hotel along Pennsylvania Avenue, where façade of Whole Foods will be

Looking at Best Western hotel from 22nd Street

Looking at Best Western hotel from 22nd Street

Sign of the Best Western Center City Hotel

Sign of the Best Western Center City Hotel

Looking at Best Western parking lot, from 22nd Street, where demolished hotel building was

Looking at Best Western parking lot, from 22nd Street, where demolished hotel building was

Looking at Rodin Museum and grounds, from Pennsylvania Avenue

Looking at Rodin Museum and grounds, from Pennsylvania Avenue

Von Colln Memorial Field, seen from Pennsylvania Avenue

Von Colln Memorial Field, seen from Pennsylvania Avenue

Pennsylvania Avenue street sign

Pennsylvania Avenue street sign

Looking towards the Rodin Museum and skyline, from 22nd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue

Looking towards the Rodin Museum and skyline, from 22nd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue

Looking east on Pennsylvania Avenue

Looking east on Pennsylvania Avenue

The Parkway House apartments, across 22nd Street from future Rodin Square site

The Parkway House apartments, across 22nd Street from future Rodin Square site

Looking west down Pennsylvania Avenue, towards Fairmount Park

Looking west down Pennsylvania Avenue, towards Fairmount Park

Looking south towards Park Towne Place apartments

Looking south towards Park Towne Place apartments

Looking south down 22nd Street

Looking south down 22nd Street

Looking west down Spring Garden Street, towards Eakins Oval and the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Looking west down Spring Garden Street, towards Eakins Oval and the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The corner of 22nd and Spring Garden Streets

The corner of 22nd and Spring Garden Streets

Looking north up 22nd Street

Looking north up 22nd Street

Empty lot, on the north side of Rodin Square, could be developed in the future

Empty lot, on the north side of Rodin Square, could be developed in the future

The Philadelphia County Medical Society building, at 21st and Spring Garden Streets

The Philadelphia County Medical Society building, at 21st and Spring Garden Streets

Looking east down Spring Garden Street

Looking east down Spring Garden Street

Best Western Hotel, at the corner of 21st and Hamilton Streets

Best Western Hotel, at the corner of 21st and Hamilton Streets

Looking south down 21st Street

Looking south down 21st Street

Retail at Rodin Place, at 21st and Hamilton Streets

Retail at Rodin Place, at 21st and Hamilton Streets

CityView Condominiums, across 21st Street from the future site of Rodin Square

CityView Condominiums, across 21st Street from the future site of Rodin Square

Reading Viaduct (City Branch) could have a Bus Rapid Transit line and jogging path, and another apartment built on top here at 21st and Hamilton Streets

Reading Viaduct (City Branch) could have a Bus Rapid Transit line and jogging path, and another apartment built on top here at 21st and Hamilton Streets

Tivoli Condominiums, at 19th and Hamilton Streets

Tivoli Condominiums, at 19th and Hamilton Streets

The Granary apartments, at 20th and Callowhill Streets

The Granary apartments, at 20th and Callowhill Streets

Whole Foods' current location, at 20th and Callowhill Streets

Whole Foods’ current location, at 20th and Callowhill Streets

Future site of Museum Towers II, on 19th Street

Future site of Museum Towers II, on 19th Street

Future site of the Free Library Central Branch expansion, at 19th and Callowhill Streets

Future site of the Free Library Central Branch expansion, at 19th and Callowhill Streets

Family Courts building, at 19th and Vine Streets, will be renovated soon into a luxury hotel

Family Courts building, at 19th and Vine Streets, will be renovated soon into a luxury hotel

Free Library Central Branch, at 20th and Vine Streets, just off the Ben Franklin Parkway

Free Library Central Branch, at 20th and Vine Streets, just off the Ben Franklin Parkway

The Barnes Foundation museum entrance, on 21st Street

The Barnes Foundation museum entrance, on 21st Street

Meudon Gate, in front of the Rodin Museum, at 21st Street and The Parkway

Meudon Gate, in front of the Rodin Museum, at 21st Street and The Parkway

Recently renovated Rodin Museum and gardens

Recently renovated Rodin Museum and gardens

Sign announcing attractions along The Parkway

Sign announcing attractions along The Parkway

Recently renovated sidewalks along the 2200 block of The Parkway

Recently renovated sidewalks along the 2200 block of The 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

Von Colln Memorial Field, seen from The Parkway

Von Colln Memorial Field, seen from The Parkway

Eakins Oval may be renovated soon to have a permanent event space, similar to this temporary one called The Oval

Eakins Oval may be renovated soon to have a permanent event space, similar to this temporary one called The Oval

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Bergdoll Mansion apartments in Fairmount, at 22nd and Green Streets

Bergdoll Mansion apartments in Fairmount, at 22nd and Green Streets

Busy Fairmount Avenue, just north of future Rodin Square

Busy Fairmount Avenue, just north of future Rodin Square

Eastern State Penitentiary, on Fairmount Avenue

Eastern State Penitentiary, on Fairmount Avenue

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Liberty Square, another large, new apartment complex in South Kensington at 1203 Germantown Avenue, to be built soon

rendering of liberty square, at germantown and girard avenuesAnother 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.gottlieb@lnf.com 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.

Inside the plaza of Liberty Square

Inside the plaza of Liberty Square

Looking north up American Street, towards Stiles Street, from Girard Avenue

Looking north up American Street, towards Stiles Street, from Girard Avenue

Rendering of Liberty Square from American Street and Girard Avenue

Rendering of Liberty Square from American Street and Girard Avenue

Street signs for American Street, at Girard Avenue

Street signs for American Street, at Girard Avenue

Warehouse at American and Stiles Streets

Warehouse at American and Stiles Streets

Empty lot at American and Thompson Streets

Empty lot at American and Thompson Streets

Future site of Soko Lofts, at the intersection of American and Thompson Streets

Future site of Soko Lofts, at the intersection of American and Thompson Streets

Rendering of Soko Lofts, at American and Thompson Streets

Rendering of Soko Lofts, at American and Thompson Streets

Crane Arts Building and Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, at American and Master Streets, to the north of Liberty Square

Crane Arts Building and Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, at American and Master Streets, to the north of Liberty Square

Looking further north up American Street

Looking further north up American Street

Oxford Mills, a few blocks northwest of Liberty Square

Oxford Mills, a few blocks northwest of Liberty Square

Looking south down American Street, towards The Piazza and Fresh Grocer supermarket

Looking south down American Street, towards The Piazza and SuperFresh supermarket

Empty lot at Germantown and Thompson Streets

Empty lot at Germantown and Thompson Streets

Looking east down Thompson Street, from Germantown Avenue, towards American Street and the Soko Lofts site

Looking east down Thompson Street, from Germantown Avenue, towards American Street and the Soko Lofts site

Looking south down Germantown Avenue, towards Girard Avenue and The Piazza beyond

Looking south down Germantown Avenue, towards Girard Avenue and The Piazza beyond

Warehouse at Germantown Avenue and Stiles Street

Warehouse at Germantown Avenue and Stiles Street

Mural and a small park at Germantown and Girard Avenues and Stiles Street

Mural and a small park at Germantown and Girard Avenues and Stiles Street

Looking south down Germantown Avenue, from Girard Avenue, towards The Piazza and Second Street

Looking south down Germantown Avenue, from Girard Avenue, towards The Piazza and Second Street

Looking west on Stiles Street, towards Germantown Avenue

Looking west on Stiles Street, towards Germantown Avenue

Intersection of Girard Avenue, American Street, and Second Street

Intersection of Girard Avenue, American Street, and Second Street

Fresh Grocer supermarket, at Second and Girard

SuperFresh supermarket, at Second and Girard

Looking east on Girard Avenue, towards the Market/Frankford El Station

Looking east on Girard Avenue, towards the Market/Frankford El Station

Looking west down Girard Avenue

Looking west down Girard Avenue

Girard Avenue has much new construction

Girard Avenue has much new construction

Girard Avenue trolley

Girard Avenue trolley

Route 5 bus passes by The Piazza and near Liberty Square

Route 5 bus passes by The Piazza and near Liberty Square

The Piazza at Second Street and Germantown Avenue

The Piazza at Second Street and Germantown Avenue

Liberty Walk, off of Second Street, across from The Piazza

Liberty Walk, off of Second Street, across from The Piazza

Busy entrance to The Piazza at Second Street

Busy entrance to The Piazza at Second Street

The Piazza

The Piazza

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Hub II to begin construction at long last

hubIIIf you’ve been to 40th & Chestnut Streets in University City, you’ve likely seen The Hub, a multi-colored apartment highrise, which is home to Jose Garces‘s restaurant, Distrito, on the northeast corner of the intersection.  The Hub was built a few years ago, just before the recession and national real estate market decline.  The Hub is almost a dozen storeys and has more than a hundred apartments, largely occupied by University City’s many students.  The original plan for The Hub was to build a neighboring building just to the east, at 3939 Chestnut Street, but that additional building was never built due to the lagging economy.  However, now the developer of the first Hub, Teres Holdings, has received approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment to build the second Hub, which will be known as The Hub II, on the former site of Thai Singha House restaurant.  Thai Singha House will move down the block to Chestnut Hall, at 39th Street, and the building which housed the restaurant, which included two old townhouses, will be demolished to make way for Hub II.  The land is owned by the University of Pennsylvania, and will be leased to Teres Holdings.

The Hub II, designed by Piatt Associates and UJMN Architects, will be seven storeys tall and have 65 rental apartment units.  It will, also, have 10,000 square feet of retail space on the first two floors.  The apartments will include 52 studios of 400 square feet, 12 one-bedroom units of 750 square feet, and a two-bedroom unit of 700 square feet.  The apartments will be more upscale and more expensive than the first Hub, so it might attract some non-students, including workers at the universities, hospitals, and the University City Science Center, around the corner on Market Street.  The façade will have similar panels as Hub I, but less colorful, and the walkway between the two Hub buildings will be activated with retail along a thin, European-style alleyway.  There will be 22 spaces for bike parking, but no on-site parking for cars.  The University of Pennsylvania will provide 20 parking spaces in the large garage at 40th & Walnut Streets.  The new Hub II will be a block away from the 40th Street Station of the Market/Frankford line and Chestnut Street has the Route 21 bus to Center City and Penn’s Landing.

This is yet another residential development in University City, part of 2.6 million square feet of new residential space for students and non-students, much of which I’ve already written about.  On Chestnut Street, a new 25-storey highrise apartment tower is about to be built, at 38th Street next to the Episcopal Cathedral, and more development is proposed for 42nd & Chestnut Streets.  Also, the 7-11 on the southwest corner of 38th & Chestnut is now vacant, and the site could be available for development, and the Verizon building next door to that site is for sale, as well.  On Market Street, a new office building is being built in the Science Center, also at 38th Street, and the Science Center anticipates building another tower at 34th Street and a larger one between 38th and 39th Streets on Market.  The Science Center is, also, about to break ground on a 28-storey apartment tower at 36th & Market.  As if that isn’t enough, a developer wants to build a new office building at 41st and Market Streets, next to the newly opened 2.0 University Place office building at 41st Street and Powelton Avenue.  Nearby on Walnut Street, the University of Pennsylvania wants to build a small office building for university administrative departments at 39th Street and a developer would like to build a highrise office or apartment building at 41st & Walnut, next to the new Hilton Homewood Suites hotel.  And, a new midrise apartment building is about to be built at 43rd and Sansom Streets.  40th Street is about to see some new retail development just north of Walnut Street, and the developers of The Hub and Hub II are considering building another Hub building at the northwest corner of 40th & Chestnut Streets in the near future.  All this is a lot of development for the western end of University City, and will likely have a continued impact on the Walnut Hill, Spruce Hill, and Mill Creek neighborhoods just to the west.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in the booming University City, 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 our Long & Foster Philly Center City office, here.  You can, also, view my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, and my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  You can, also, view this link to Piatt Associates’ website and look at my pictures of the site, and many other sites and landmarks in the neighborhood, below.

Rendering of The Hub II

Rendering of The Hub II

Rendering of Hub II, at the ground level, shows alleyway imbetween the buildings

Rendering of Hub II, at the ground level, shows alleyway imbetween the buildings

Rendering of The Hub II, from the front

Rendering of The Hub II, from the front

Rendering of The Hub II, from the east

Rendering of The Hub II, from the east

Future site of The Hub II

Future site of The Hub II

Future site of The Hub II, where Thai Singha House used to be, next to the first Hub

Future site of The Hub II, where Thai Singha House used to be, next to the first Hub

This angle, of the site, shows the future European-style alleyway imbetween the site and The Hub

This angle, of the site, shows the future European-style alleyway imbetween the site and The Hub

Former Thai Singha House restaurant building

Former Thai Singha House restaurant building

The Hub, @ 40th and Chestnut Streets

The Hub, @ 40th and Chestnut Streets

Entrance to Distrito restaurant, in The Hub, on 40th Street

Entrance to Distrito restaurant, in The Hub, on 40th Street

Townhouses next to future Hub II site

Townhouses next to future Hub II site

Ronald McDonald House is three doors down from the future site of Hub II

Ronald McDonald House is three doors down from the future site of Hub II

This building, on the northwest corner of 40th & Chestnut, could have yet another Hub building

This building, on the northwest corner of 40th & Chestnut, could have yet another Hub building

Looking south down 40th Street

Looking south down 40th Street

Southeast corner of 40th and Chestnut Streets

Southeast corner of 40th and Chestnut Streets

Southwest corner of 40th and Chestnut Streets

Southwest corner of 40th and Chestnut Streets

The Rave movie theatre and Harvest Grille, at 40th & Walnut Streets

The Rave movie theatre and Harvest Grille, at 40th & Walnut Streets

Fresh Grocer supermarket, at 40th and Walnut Streets

Fresh Grocer supermarket, at 40th and Walnut Streets

Looking south down 40th Street, from Walnut Street

Looking south down 40th Street, from Walnut Street

The Radian, at 40th & Walnut Streets

The Radian, at 40th & Walnut Streets

Hilton Homewood Suites, at 41st and Walnut Streets

Hilton Homewood Suites, at 41st and Walnut Streets

University of Pennsylvania campus, along Walnut Street

University of Pennsylvania campus, along Walnut Street

Looking west on Chestnut Street, from 40th Street

Looking west on Chestnut Street, from 40th Street

Site at 42nd and Chestnut may have more highrise development

Site at 42nd and Chestnut may have more highrise development

Future site of 3.0 University Place, at 41st and Market Streets

Future site of 3.0 University Place, at 41st and Market Streets

2.0 University Place office building, at 41st Street and Powelton Avenue

2.0 University Place office building, at 41st Street and Powelton Avenue

Looking east on Chestnut Street, from 40th Street

Looking east on Chestnut Street, from 40th Street

Apartment buildings along Chestnut Street, including Chestnut Hall at 39th Street

Apartment buildings along Chestnut Street, including Chestnut Hall at 39th Street

Future site of apartment tower, @ 38th and Chestnut Streets, next to Episcopal Cathedral

Future site of apartment tower, @ 38th and Chestnut Streets, next to Episcopal Cathedral

Site of former 7-11 and Verizon building, @ southwest corner of 38th and Chestnut Streets

Site of former 7-11 and Verizon building, @ southwest corner of 38th and Chestnut Streets

Popular businesses along 38th Street

Popular businesses along 38th Street

Locust Moon comics and café, across from The Hub on 40th Street

Locust Moon comics and café, across from The Hub on 40th Street

Lovers and Madmen café, @ 40th and Ludlow Streets

Lovers and Madmen café, @ 40th and Ludlow Streets

Intersection at 40th and Market Streets, entrance to Market/Frankford line station is visible

Intersection at 40th and Market Streets, entrance to Market/Frankford line station is visible

3737 office building, @ 38th and Market Streets

3737 office building, @ 38th and Market Streets

Penn Presbyterian Hospital, @ 39th and Market Streets

Penn Presbyterian Hospital, @ 39th and Market Streets

Looking at the University City Science Center, along Market Street

Looking at the University City Science Center, along Market Street

Site of future Science Center office complex, at 38th and Market Streets

Site of future Science Center office complex, at 38th and Market Streets

Site of future Science Center apartment tower, @ 36th and Market Streets

Site of future Science Center apartment tower, @ 36th and Market Streets

Drexel campus along Market Street

Drexel campus along Market Street

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New luxury apartment tower at 1919 Market Street, in Center City, is about to begin construction

rendering of 1919 market at intersectionAnother highrise luxury apartment tower is soon to break ground in Center City, at 1919 Market Street, on the corner of 20th & Market Streets.  This new tower is on the site of a conspicuous lawn right in the middle of Center City’s largest and tallest office corridor.  The site is next to the Independence Blue Cross Tower and was originally supposed to have a twin building on it, but that did not happen.  A developer wanted to build a condo tower there a few years ago, but that didn’t work out either, so the site was bought by Brandywine Realty Trust, developers of the Cira Centre South development that includes Evo at Cira Centre South, at 30th and Chestnut Streets, that I wrote about a few months ago.  Brandywine has been building office and residential space, in Center City and University City, after buying up several Center City office buildings.

This new tower, designed by Barton Partners and called simply enough, 1919 Market Street, will be 28 storeys and 367 feet tall, a respectable height in this highrise neighborhood on the border of Rittenhouse Square and Logan Circle (or Logan Square, if you will).  It will contain 278 upscale apartment units, intended for the many workers that would be within walking distance of the large corporate office district surrounding it (and the trolleys to West Philadelphia, which connect for free to the Market/Frankford line and the Broad Street subway, and to the regional rail lines at 30th Street Station and Suburban Station, are just outside at their 19th Street Station).  The entire first floor will have retail space (except for the lobby, of course) and the second floor will have office space, that could also be used for additional retail space if there is enough demand.  The commercial space will total approximately 25,000 square feet on both floors.  The third and fourth floors will have bi-level loft apartments facing Market Street.  There will be 223 parking spaces in a five-storey garage, north of the building on Commerce Street, and 108 bike storage spaces.  The parking garage will, also, have retail on 20th Street and there will be retail, and the entrance to the office space, on a renovated plaza across from the Independence Blue Cross Tower at the eastern end of the building, that will be a focal point with outdoor seating.  The entrance to the residences will, also, be on the eastern end along Market Street, with a large sign on the overhang saying “1919“.

There will be twelve units per floor, above the fourth floor, except for the top three floors, which will have larger penthouses on the 26th & 27th floors and an amenities floor on the very top.  The amenities floor will be set back, on the south and west, and the outdoor space will be used for a landscaped plaza and an outdoor pool.  The apartments will range from studios to two bedrooms, and the corner units will have noticeable balconies.  The exterior will have metal panels and lots of glass.  The lower floors will have a tinted, darker glass above the retail and the bulk of the tower will have multi-colored glass window panels.  The glass panels will have a random pattern and come in four colors: blue, green, light gray, and silver.  The penthouse floors will have overhangs that protrude a bit from the structure, approximately 350 feet above the street.  The parking garage will be hidden behind glass and louvers.  The developers hope to obtain LEED Silver certification for the tower, with features such as Energy Star appliances, low-flow showers, energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems, and storm water management.

1919 Market received approval from the Planning Commission’s Civic Design Review Board at their meeting on Tuesday, August 7 and approval from the full Planning Commission, at their August 20th meeting, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment on September 10.  The Civic Design Review Board meeting is the preliminary Planning Commission meeting where they spoil the fun of large new developments with nit-picking complaints, and you hear lots of those tiresome whiny and pretentious comments about Philadelphia.  With 1919 Market there was much discussion about the above ground parking garage.  The developers insisted that the ground was too difficult to dig and the project would be economically infeasible, but some commissioners were skeptical and afraid of setting a precedent by granting a special exemption under the new zoning code, which prohibits above ground parking outside of flood plains.  I mentioned, in audience comments, that whether or not underground parking was economically infeasible, that the side of the block at 20th & Commerce Streets would get no sunlight at all once the new tower is built and that would make it undesirable as a courtyard and hard to rent, at a high rate, for apartments or office space, anyway.  When the Civic Design Review Board approved 1919 Market, they decided that it was time to set up guidelines for these special exemptions for building above ground parking.  The commissioners felt that in order for developers to be allowed to build above ground parking in the future, they must have proof that it is geographically impossible or economically infeasible, not just the developers’ own testimony.  Anyway, the approval by the Planning Commission and Zoning Board allows construction to begin soon.  There are, already, construction permits on the fence at the site.

This new tower will add a prominent addition to Market Street.  It will specifically add to the glass “street wall” along Market Street, and because of a slight bend in 20th Street, it will look as if it extends into the middle of the street looking from the south up 20th Street.  It is another residential addition in a neighborhood that used to be almost entirely office space, with little retail or nighttime activity.  Just to the west is The Murano Condominiums, 2121 Market Street rentals, 2040 Market Street rentals, and 23 Condominiums, all fairly recent residential developments.  Cira Centre and a proposed highrise residential tower on top of the Marketplace Design Center, on Market Street, will add more apartments along the developing Schuylkill River waterfront.  To the south is busy Rittenhouse Square (and Rittenhouse Square Park, a few blocks south), which has much retail and nightlife along Walnut Street and, increasingly, Chestnut and Sansom Streets.  Several new developments are adding more residential units closer to Market Street, including 10 Rittenhouse; at 18th & Walnut Streets, 2116 Chestnut Street, and 2021 Chestnut Street.  To the east are the largest and tallest office buildings in the city, such as Liberty Place and the Comcast Center, and new residential developments like The Arch; at 17th & Arch Streets, The Residences at Two Liberty Place, and The Residences at The Ritz; at 15th & Ranstead Streets.  Also, improvements to Dilworth Plaza are underway and soon Love Park and will also see improvements.  And, to the north is the Ben Franklin Parkway, which is undergoing more improvements, such as Sister Cities Park.  The Franklin Institute, the Free Library Central Branch, and the new Barnes Foundation museum are just a few blocks up the street from 1919 Market, at 20th & the Parkway.  New residential development is happening in that direction, as well, such as the 1900 Arch apartments; at 19th & Arch Streets, and The Granary; at 20th & Callowhill Streets.  Another residential development is planned for the block between 21st & 22nd Streets and Spring Garden & Hamilton Streets, as well as, a new apartment tower at 18th & Buttonwood Streets, next to the Museum Towers on Spring Garden.  All this development, and it’s a lot as you can see, is bringing Rittenhouse-style luxury housing, retail, and nightlife further north, west, and east, and 1919 Market Street helps to bring these areas of Center City together with its own mix of upscale housing and retail, right in the middle of the city’s corporate community.

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home or investment property in this extremely popular part of the city, or any other part, 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.  You can, also, check out my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  And, you can access a PDF about 1919 Market Street from the Planning Commission’s Civic Design Review website, here, and view renderings and my pictures of the site and surrounding neighborhood, below.

Future site of 1919 Market Street

Future site of 1919 Market Street

Rendering of 1919 Market Street from the intersection of 20th & Market Streets

Rendering of 1919 Market Street from the intersection of 20th & Market Streets

Site of future 1919 Market Street, from the east and across Market Street

Site of future 1919 Market Street, from the east and across Market Street

Rendering of 1919 Market from the east

Rendering of 1919 Market from the east

Elevation of 1919 Market Street showing the south and east sides of the building

Elevation of 1919 Market Street showing the south and east sides of the building

Elevation of 1919 Market showing the north and west sides of the building

Elevation of 1919 Market showing the north and west sides of the building

Corner of 20th & Commerce Streets will have the parking garage, but won't get any direct sunlight once 1919 Market Street tower is complete

Corner of 20th & Commerce Streets will have the parking garage, but won’t get any direct sunlight once 1919 Market Street tower is complete

Sign announcing 1919 Market Street

Sign announcing 1919 Market Street

Street signs at 20th & Market Streets

Street signs at 20th & Market Streets

Looking east down Market Street, from 20th Street

Looking east down Market Street, from 20th Street

Looking up at the Independence Blue Cross tower, next door to 1919 Market

Looking up at the Independence Blue Cross tower, next door to 1919 Market

Looking directly east down Market Street, from 20th Street

Looking directly east down Market Street, from 20th Street

Close up of buildings along Market Street west

Close up of buildings along Market Street west

View of Liberty Place from 1919 Market

View of Liberty Place from 1919 Market

Trolley Station @ 19th & Market Streets, connects to Market/Frankford line

Trolley Station @ 19th & Market Streets, connects to Market/Frankford line

Looking west on Market Street, towards University City

Looking west on Market Street, towards University City

Looking up at the Commerce Square east tower, across 20th Street from 1919 Market

Looking up at the Commerce Square east tower, across 20th Street from 1919 Market

Newly renovated plaza at Commerce Square is intended to attract neighborhood residents

Newly renovated plaza at Commerce Square is intended to attract neighborhood residents

1919 Market will be imbetween the Blue Cross Tower and Commerce Square from this perspective

1919 Market will be imbetween the Blue Cross Tower and Commerce Square from this perspective

Looking up at The Murano @ 21st & Market Streets

Looking up at The Murano @ 21st & Market Streets

2040 Market Street apartments, also at 21st & Market Streets

2040 Market Street apartments, also at 21st & Market Streets

2121 Market Street apartments @22nd & Market Streets

2121 Market Street apartments @22nd & Market Streets

View of the Comcast Center from 1919 Market Street

View of the Comcast Center from 1919 Market Street

Looking down Commerce Street, from 20th Street

Looking down Commerce Street, from 20th Street

2000 Market Street office building, catercorner to 1919 Market

2000 Market Street office building, cater-corner to 1919 Market

1900 Market Street office building, across Market Street from 1919 Market

1900 Market Street office building, across Market Street from 1919 Market

Rendering of 1919 Market on the front of 1900 Market

Rendering of 1919 Market on the front of 1900 Market

Looking south down 20th Street, towards Rittenhouse Square neighborhood

Looking south down 20th Street, towards Rittenhouse Square neighborhood

Looking up at 2116 Chestnut Street

Looking up at 2116 Chestnut Street

site of future 2021 Chestnut Street apartment building

Site of future 2021 Chestnut Street apartment building

Retail along the 2000 block of Sansom Street

Retail along the 2000 block of Sansom Street

Busy and upscale Walnut Street shopping district, three blocks from 1919 Market Street

Busy and upscale Walnut Street shopping district, three blocks from 1919 Market Street

Rittenhouse Square Park, seen here at 19th & Walnut Streets, is three blocks and around the corner from 1919 Market

Rittenhouse Square Park, seen here at 19th & Walnut Streets, is three blocks and around the corner from 1919 Market

1905 Walnut Street may soon be developed with highrise condos and retail

1905 Walnut Street may soon be developed with highrise condos and retail

Looking north up 20th Street, from Market Street

Looking north up 20th Street, from Market Street

Looking west down JFK Boulevard at 30th Street Station, from 20th Street and JFK Boulevard

Looking west down JFK Boulevard at 30th Street Station, from 20th Street and JFK Boulevard

Penn Center House on JFK Boulevard, just to the north of 1919 Market Street

Penn Center House on JFK Boulevard, just to the north of 1919 Market Street

Looking up at the Comcast Center, from 17th & Market Streets

Looking up at the Comcast Center, from 17th & Market Streets

The Arch, under construction, @ 17th & Arch Streets

The Arch, when it was under construction, @ 17th & Arch Streets

1900 Arch apartments, currently under construction, @ 19th & Arch Streets

1900 Arch apartments, currently under construction, @ 19th & Arch Streets

Sign announcing 1900 Arch Street

Sign announcing 1900 Arch Street

This small site, at 19th & Arch Streets, is owned by Liberty Property Trust, who hope to build an office building soon

This small site, at 19th & Arch Streets, is owned by Liberty Property Trust, who hope to build an office building soon

This large site on Arch Street, between 18th & 19th Streets, is owned by Liberty Property Trust, that will develop a large project on it someday

This large site on Arch Street, between 18th & 19th Streets, is owned by Liberty Property Trust, that will develop a large project on it someday

The Franklin Institute, @ 20th & The Parkway

The Franklin Institute, @ 20th & The Parkway

Looking east on The Ben Franklin Parkway, from 20th Street

Looking east on The Ben Franklin Parkway, from 20th Street

Sister Cities Park, @ 18th Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway

Sister Cities Park, @ 18th Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway

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

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

Free Library Central Branch @ 20th Street and The Ben Franklin Parkway

Free Library Central Branch @ 20th Street and The Ben Franklin Parkway

The Barnes Foundation @ 20th and the Parkway

The Barnes Foundation @ 20th and the Parkway

The Granary apartments @ 20th and Callowhill Streets

The Granary apartments @ 20th and Callowhill Streets

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