At the time when the Liberty Place project was proposed in Center City, other developers scrambled to join Philadelphia’s skyline race to top the Statue of William Penn atop City Hall. At 1735 Market Street, the skyscraper formerly dubbed Mellon Bank Center, now known as BNY Mellon Center, has long been a major fixture of the Philadelphia skyline. The project, which started to rise in 1987, rises to a height of 824 feet, with a 792-foot-high roof, and 54 stories. The tower was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and developed by CommonWealth REIT. Silverstein Properties, the owners of the World Trade Center in New York City, purchased the property in 2019 for $451.6 million; renovations were later announced for the tower.
The latest installment in Philly YIMBY’s Category Spotlight series features Philadelphia’s proposed and under-construction developments that span between 10,000 and 50,000 square feet. Most of the projects within this size range are medium-sized, mid-rise developments that typically hold anywhere between ten and 50 residential units. These buildings frequently feature retail at the ground floor, which livens up the sidewalk experience, while their scale makes for an optimal fit for just about any neighborhood; as such, apartment buildings within this size range have long served as the backbone of cities around the world. Today we present a selection of some of such projects that are underway or on the drawing boards throughout Philadelphia.
Renderings have been revealed for a multi-family development at 1238-46 Belmont Avenue in East Parkside, West Philadelphia. Designed by Francesco Zampetti, the building will rise seven stories tall and feature 84 residential units. An underground parking garage will offer space for 32 parking spaces. Two of these will be auto-share spaces, one being an ADA space. The project will also provide space for 28 bicycles.
Last June, Philly YIMBY reported that construction was nearing completion at BrüBox at 3120 Jefferson Street in Brewerytown, North Philadelphia. Since that time, the five-story, 32-unit rental building, alternately spelled BruBox (without the umlaut), has been completed and open to residents. Designed by Coscia Moos Architecture and developed by Khosla Properties, with Tester Construction Group as the contractor the development spans 29,427 square feet and, according to permits, cost $5.15 million to construct. BrüBox offers residences ranging from studios to two-bedrooms and spanning 525 to 1,000 square feet and includes parking for ten cars and 11 bicycles.
Philadelphia’s City Hall has loomed proudly in Center City since it topped out in 1894, but its tower continues to stand only thanks to several renovations. While the municipal floors of the building only rise nine stories high, the clock tower remains the largest freestanding masonry structure in the world to this day. The edifice is topped by a 37-foot-tall statue of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, which brings the tower to a full height of 548 feet. The structure was designed by John McArthur Jr. and Thomas Ustick Walter, and was completed in 1901. In this feature, Philadelphia YIMBY takes a look back at the direly-needed renovation for the top of the clock tower that took place in the 1980s.