In the near future, construction is expected to begin on a six-story, 50-unit apartment building at 502 Wood Street in the Old City section of Center City. Although Philadelphia YIMBY’s recent site visit revealed no signs of construction, with a parking lot still operational at the location, we expect work to begin soon as a construction permit was issued last December. Designed by JKRP Architects, the slab-like structure will span the block between North 5th Street and North Randolph Street, situated directly across from the elevated Interstate 676 aka the Vine Street Expressway. The building will feature two elevators, full sprinkling, and parking for 13 cars, two of which will be reserved for car share and another as an electric car charging space. Permits list Tester Construction Group as the contractor and a construction cost of $5.55 million.
The structure will span a footprint of 15,896 square feet and will hold a total of 55,470 square feet of interior space, lending an average of just over 1,000 square feet per apartment. The units will consist of five studios, 25 one-bedroom apartments, and 20 two-bedroom units, offering a generous volume of multi-bedroom units for a market that suffers from a prevalence of undersized apartments. Moreover, each bedroom will boast windows that face directly outdoors; although this should be an obvious, and law-mandated feature for any apartment, a worrying number of recently proposed buildings do not offer directly outdoor-facing windows in bedrooms, so their absence is worthy of note.
The building spans the northeasternmost parcel in Old City, sandwiched on a somewhat isolated block hemmed in by the ramps for the I-676 and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on three sides. Although the location description sounds a tad foreboding, it is far from so, as wide, tree-planted green spaces, many with pedestrian walkways, separate the highway ramps from the streets.
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I don’t think this is happening since the deal was made that turned 509 Vine from apartments into short stay