A recent visit by Philadelphia YIMBY has revealed no signs of construction nor construction preparations of any sort at our recent visit to the site of the 328-foot-tall, 29-story residential tower proposed at 33 North 22nd Street in Center City West, even though a construction permit was issued last November. Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz and developed by the PMC Property Group (which is also listed as the contractor), the building will span 456,380 square feet and offer 341 apartments as well as a garage for use both by the building’s residents as well as customers of the adjacent Trader Joe’s supermarket, which currently uses the outdoor parking lot at the building site, which remained in operation at the time of our visit. Permits list a construction cost of $136 million.
33 North 22nd Street will rise from a challenging site with a nearly 20-foot elevation difference between 22nd Street to the west and the elevated viaduct of the John F. Kennedy Boulevard to the north. The building will offer a novel resolution to integrating both levels, although we strongly wish that the design also included a public connection between the two street levels, perhaps as a tiered plaza with stairs, an elevator, or, ideally, both. Additionally, we wish that the proposed building rose higher and featured more residential units, as the centrally-located, transit-adjacent site (the underground 22nd Street trolley station, which is serviced by the 10, 11, 13, 34, and 36 trolleys, sits half a block to the south) is clearly capable of supporting much higher residential density.
Since construction has not yet started, we would love to see a redesign that would implement such revisions. However, even in its present form, the proposal at 33 North 22nd Street, with its rippled glass curtain wall, is both highly attractive as well as necessary to boosting a central yet desolate part of the city, and we look forward to its construction.