The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the 293-unit apartment building to be part of the planned Rodin Square complex has received a $20 million loan to finance its groundbreaking. The complex, which was approved in the fall, will face the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and take up much of the block bounded by 21st, 22nd, Spring Garden, and Hamilton streets. In addition to the residences, it will include a 55,000-square-foot Whole Foods with underground parking, a “sky park” with an outdoor pool for residents, several commercial spaces, and a parking garage for residents.
Groundbreaking is estimated to occur during the fall, maybe around Labor Day. The Best Western hotel currently on the site has closed and demolition notices have been posted. According to the Inquirer, construction will take about two years.
Total construction costs for the project are estimated at $130 million, according to the Business Journal, another $90 million of which is coming from Santander, a massive Spanish bank currently expanding in the city. That’s interesting given that just about two weeks ago the Inquirer’s Inga Saffron criticized Santander Bank for damaging Philadelphia’s lively urban fabric with its dull new branches.
But if Santander is funding development projects like Rodin Square, then it deserves some credit for also helping to rebuild the city’s urban fabric: Rodin Square will replace a bunch of parking lots and a run-down low-rise hotel (albeit a surprisingly interesting one) and hopefully draw more residents to the area.
The apartment building section of the complex, which will rise nine stories above the Whole Foods, will be called the “Dalian on Fairmount,” presumably after one of the project’s developers, Dalian Development LLC. It’s unclear whether that will change the complex’s other name, Rodin Square, which comes from another one of its developers, Neil Rodin. (Maybe if I develop a big new building, I’ll name it after myself, too.)
The project’s architect is MV+A Architects of Bethesda, Maryland.