20-Story Residential Building Planned for 2012 Chestnut Street in Rittenhouse Square, Center City

2012 Chestnut Street rendering. Image by Cope-Liner Architects2012 Chestnut Street rendering. Image by Cope-Liner Architects

The Rittenhouse Square and Center City West neighborhoods are witnessing a boom in high-rise construction and proposals. At 2012 Chestnut Street, at the junction of the two neighborhoods, a four-story brick building formerly occupied by the Philadelphia Housing Authority will be transformed into a 20-story edifice with a height of 253 feet, designed by Cope-Linder Architects. According to developer Alterra Property Group, the redevelopment will yield 200 units, of which 160 will be market rate with the rest reserved for lower-middle-income individuals. The developer also plans to allocate 7,000 square feet on the ground floor for commercial space.

The four-story structure currently at the site was completed in 1927. A preservation of the Chestnut Street façade and its inclusion into the development would be a welcome move, though no such scheme appears to be included in the proposal. The developer has also signed a 99-year lease for the site. Permits for demolition were filed in May 2017, though no progress has yet been made at the site. In late 2019, the developers announced a targeted start date of this year.

Current site of 2012 Chestnut Street via Google Maps

The proposed building will tower prominently above its city block, as the surrounding buildings rise only a few stories high. The new structure will take up the entire site of the old building as well as the adjacent lot to the west. The edifice is rendered with a blocky rectangular mass, with an alternative rendering showing a large cutaway in the eastern elevation, leaving open space at ground level. That rendering also shows parts of the north façade protruding in different lengths with thin spaces between the rows.

A projected completion date has not been announced, but the building could be finished by 2023.

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