Philly YIMBY’s recent site visit has revealed significant construction progress at the Piazza Terminal, a multi-building mixed-use development that rises at 1075 Germantown Avenue in Northern Liberties, North Philadelphia. Designed by the BKV Group and developed by the Post Brothers, the 1.1-million-square-foot-plus complex will house 1,131 residential units within several mid- and high-rise buildings centered an expansive public promenade that will serve as an extension of the existing Liberties Walk. Our visit revealed that a 12-story, roughly 150-foot-tall building already stands topped out and boasts a mostly finished curtain wall, while the remaining structures are in various stages of progress.
The latest plans for the development call for two 12-story high-rises (one on Germantown Avenue and another at the block interior), a roughly 200-foot-tall, 16-story building at 1104 North Hancock Street (also known as Building B) at the site’s northeast corner, and two eight-story buildings, one on Germantown Avenue at the site’s southwest corner and another at the site’s eastern edge along North Hancock Street, cantilevered over the public promenade.
Our visit revealed that the most significant progress took place at the 12-story building on Germantown Avenue. The structure, which was nearing its highest point during our visit in June, now stands topped out and has received most of its cladding. The building sports an attractive, loft-style exterior with large paneled windows dark Burgundy steel mullions which will create refined interior spaces.
Scaffolding is currently coming down from the building, revealing the structure like a present being slowly unwrapped. Thankfully, we must have been good so far this year, because the present is a pleasant one. The crisp, slightly angled structure combines the finest elements of the past and present movements in the neighborhood’s architecture.
The metallic beams and loft-style windows evoke the neighborhood’s glorious industrial past (Schmidt’s Brewery, once Philadelphia’s largest, once stood across the street to the west at the current site of the original Piazza complex).
The slight slant at the facade gives the structure a distinctive modern touch, adds interest to an otherwise boxy form, and echoes the angled buildings, including those still under construction and on the drawing boards, that rise (or will rise in the future) along the neighborhood’s occasionally angled streets.
Scaffolding is yet to come down from the building’s eight-story wing along Germantown Avenue, which will feature a contrasting aesthetic of white brick and notched loggias. We can catch a of the white brick through the netting.
Framing appears to have reached near the top of the eastern mid-rise building. The fact that it is built as is is a pleasant surprise, as flourishes such as cantilevered strictures above public arcades tend to be omitted from certain projects when budget cuts kick in. As such, we are also hopeful that the skybridge planned further to the west above the public promenade will come to fruition, as well.
We also observed that a podium has been assembled for the southeastern building, next to the complex’s existing garage, although construction of the superstructure appears to be paused.
The building closest to completion rises high enough to make a classy skyline statement, both with its refined exterior and subtle form. As such, we have high hopes for its similarly-scaled mid-block counterpart as well as for the 16-story building, the tallest of the group, slated to rise at 1104 North Hancock Street.
When The Piazza opened across the street to the west in 2009, its mid-rise buildings, ground-level retail, and vibrant public space became the focal point of the rapidly growing northeast section of Northern Liberties (we dove into the district’s feature and changing identity in a dedicated feature). Piazza Terminal promises an encore in a similar format yet on a greater scale.
However, Post Brothers’ work in Northern Liberties does not stop at the Terminal. The developer is planning to construct the 13-story, 280-unit Mercato just to the south at 1021 North Hancock Street. In addition, the developer has released plans for redevelopment of its already successful Liberties Walk housing and retail complex to the west.
Thanks to the efforts of Post Brothers and a number of other local developers, we have much to look forward to in Northern Liberties’ future.