A recent site visit by Philly YIMBY has noted sustained construction progress at The Standard At Philadelphia, a 209-foot-tall, 19-story residential tower under construction at 119 South 31st Street in University City, West Philadelphia. Designed by CUBE 3 and developed by Landmark Properties, the 362,117-square-foot structure will rise from a narrow, through-block lot stretching between South 30th and South 31st streets, and will house 280 residential units geared toward university students.
As it rises, the Standard’s concrete frame is rapidly approaching its halfway point, and the building is on the verge of making an impact on the University City skyline. However, even in its present state, it already has a dramatic, and positive, effect on the local streetscape. At the upper level of 30th Street (the lower level is concealed beneath the main road surface), the structure faces the two towers of Cira Centre South (AKA University City, the tallest building in West Philadelphia, and Evo), turning the block between Walnut and Chestnut streets into arguably the most significant skyscraper street canyon in West Philly. On the 31st Street side, the building is making an impact as it soars over the Highline Field and the elevated trestle that runs through the green space.
When YIMBY covered the demolition of the five-story, 75,200-square-foot building that formerly stood at the site, we lamented that the new structure will obscure the mural that overlooked the parking lot facing 31st Street. Although, indeed, the tower slab does largely blocks the mural from view, a pleasant surprise revealed that the artwork is not obscured altogether, as it is visible, partially and obliquely as it may be, via a narrow alleyway along the site’s northern boundary.
Upon topping out, The Standard will stand considerably lower than the Cira Centre towers across the street, yet the tower slab will still add considerable heft, and non-negligible height, to the University City skyline and will make a positive contribution to vistas of West Philly as seen from the Schuylkill River. From a programmatic viewpoint, the hundreds of apartments the building will bring to the neighborhood will go a long way to alleviate the local need for housing and serve the numerous universities located throughout the neighborhood. We look forward to further progress on the development.