Six-Story Development Anticipated at 200 Race Street in Old City, Center City

200 Race Street. Credit: Ambit Architecture200 Race Street. Credit: Ambit Architecture

A mixed-use development is being planned for 200 Race Street in the Old City neighborhood of Center City. Located at the southwest corner of Race Street and North Second Street, a block south of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the project was originally proposed to stand 230 feet tall and 19 stories but has since been downsized to 65 feet and six stories after pushback from the Philadelphia Historical Commission. Designed by Ambit Architecture and developed by Revolution Development Group, the revised iteration will contain 6,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 49 residential units above.

The project was first revealed in the summer of 2018, a year after Bridge on Race, a 19-story residential high-rise, opened across the street at 205 Race Street. The original design proposed at 200 Race Street would had roughly matched the height of its neighbor, rising over halfway up the height of the 385-foot-tall towers of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The project, which included 24 residential units and a 117-room hotel, went to the zoning board for review in October 2018. Due to its location within the official boundaries of the historic Old City, the height was limited to 65 feet and the project was denied a variance for the height extension. Four months later, the appeal was withdrawn and the current design was revealed in August 2019.

The present design is a rectangular block with the top two floors angled inward. The façade will consist of brown brick mullions serving as trim for the large, deep-set paneled windows.

200 Race Street is one of many current projects in Old City under scrutiny from the Philadelphia Historical Commission. While the growth of development is positive for the city, height restrictions in historic areas prevent aged properties from getting lost in a concrete and steel jungle of skyscrapers.

Past design of 200 Race Street. Photo by Morris Adjmi Architects

No completion date has been announced, but if construction starts in the coming months, the building could be completed by 2022.

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2 Comments on "Six-Story Development Anticipated at 200 Race Street in Old City, Center City"

  1. That is one ugly building. Taller is better in this scenario.

  2. That’s a shame!

    An unofficial height limit is probably not legal, no matter what the excuse! ?

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