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 the developer Alterra Property Group, the redevelopment will include 200 units to the city, 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.
A mixed-use development is anticipated at 200 Race Street, located at the southwest corner of Race Street and North Second Street in the Old City neighborhood of Center City, a block south of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Originally proposed to stand 230 feet and 19 stories tall, has since been downsized to 65 feet and six stories after pushback from the Philadelphia Historical Commission. Designed by Ambit Architecture and developed by Revolution Development Group, the revised iteration will contain 6,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 49 residential units above.
The Family Court Building at 1801 Vine Street in Center City’s Logan Square area was designed by John T. Widrim and W.R. Morton Keast and built between 1938 and 1941. In 2014, the Philadelphia Family Court moved out and the Peebles Corporation purchased the building with plans to convert it into a 220-room Journal Hotel. The hotel will span 250,000 square feet and feature a roof terrace, lounge area and spa. In addition to the hotel, Peebles is also considering options for some office space within the development.
Most new developments proposed along Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the Logan Square area of Center City consist of ground-up construction, yet at least one will involve a major renovation instead. The eight-story office building at 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, also known as the United Way Building, was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Associates and was completed in 1971 with a height of 89 feet and over 60,000 square feet of floor space. In April 2018, Pearl Properties purchased the entire building for $10.9 million. The exterior will remain largely intact, yet the interior will be thoroughly renovated up to a competitive 21st century standard. The future tenant will also have the option to install their logo on the the building parapet.
While the Market East district of Center City is seeing a surge in high-rise proposals, development is also taking place on smaller properties around the neighborhood. At 1208 Chestnut Street, a nine-story building will replace the Rainbow Apparel building that has sat empty for years. Michael Alhadad is the developer behind the 49 unit-structure, which will reach a height of 122 feet. The building will be very thin but the thinnest faces of the building will stretch out from Chestnut Street to Sansom Street.