The café-style community great room at 1213 Walnut. | Photos: Sandy Smith; renderings: Design Collective via Goldenberg Group
Philadelphia’s newest hotel is in its home stretch, sprinting towards an August opening.
Wait, did I say “hotel”? Forgive me, for I had a momentary lapse of memory in recalling what I was touring at 1213 Walnut St.
The building that local wags had dubbed the “Fergie Tower” is being referred to by that moniker much less often now that it’s a reality. The three companies in charge of making it happen — the Goldenberg Group, Houston-based Hines and Washington-based ASB Real Estate Investments — have always called it by its Midtown Village street address in Washington Square West, and its tenants will most likely do the same; after all, if they don’t, the Postal Service might not deliver their mail.
The building’s name may be prosaic, but its attributes and amenities are anything but. Their scope and style bring to mind a luxury hotel, which is what the owners and developers had in mind. As Goldenberg Group Executive Vice President Seth Shapiro led me around, he rattled off all the building’s features and described the thinking that went into the spaces and the relationships between them. He did such a good job, in fact, that Anthony Barone, the Bozzuto Management Company representative who’s marketing the building to prospective tenants, hardly had to say a word on our tour. (Once the building’s complete, Goldenberg, ASB and Hines will turn the keys over to Bozzuto to run it.)
The aesthetic the Design Collective created for the 26-story, 322-unit building marries industrial chic with makerspace magic and high modern style. You can see examples of each in the photos below. Interspersed with them are some renderings showing what the spaces will look like when finished. Time constraints kept me from going up to the building’s top-floor community deck, but I’ve been assured the view from it is truly spectacular.
Pre-leasing is already under way at the 1213 Walnut website and at the leasing office at 12th and Sansom streets.
1213 Walnut: The Shape of Things to Come
The west facade of the tower.
The Walnut Street and east facades.
The street-level facade on Walnut. A restaurant or café will occupy the ground floor retail space; above it is one of the building's community terraces.
The private driveway to the building entrance, viewed from Walnut Street.
The main entrance to the apartment tower, in the middle of the driveway.
The main lobby is a dramatic two-story-high space with a grand staircase as an anchor element at one end.
A rendering of the lobby concierge desk and staircase.
This rendering shows the lobby wall from the concierge desk.
The wood ceiling has been installed on the second-floor lobby balcony, with installation yet to occur on the floor below.
The building's mail room. There will also be separate facilities for package storage and for storage of perishable and sensitive items.
These Cor-Ten steel panels are one of the building's industrial-chic design elements.
They're being installed on an accent wall across the driveway from the main entrance.
The second-floor lobby balcony...
...which offers a great view of the space below.
The main amenities are on the second floor. At the Walnut Street end is the great room, designed to resemble a coffee house.
The central great room feature is the two-sided fireplace, at left in this picture; a variety of alcoves and open spaces surround it.
Another view of the great room fireplace and alcoves.
What the great room will look like when finished.
Also arrayed around the fireplace are these video display piers, which will have tables attached to them. Residents can connect their computers to the screens and use them for entertainment, conferencing or work.
On the west side of the great room is this "quiet room," a library-like space where quiet study and work can take place.
The room is surrounded by glass walls to incorporate it into the larger great room environment.
Next to the great room on the Walnut Street side is this terrace overlooking the street.
The view down Camac Street from the terrace.
A signature decorative element on the second floor is this wall sculpture composed of reclaimed furniture parts.
The building will also feature a spacious, multi-function fitness center, with a gym...
...an indoor yoga studio...
...and an outdoor yoga terrace.
There will even be a play space for residents' pooches on a separate second-floor terrace.
One of the fitness center bathrooms.
The rear corridor from the fitness center to the great room is decorated much like the main balcony hallway.
A hallway on one of the apartment floors.
The model apartment is a one-bedroom unit. Like all the apartments in this building, it boasts floor-to-ceiling window walls in the living area and bedroom.
The living room in the model unit.
The kitchens feature sleek Eurostyle cabinetry...
...stainless steel appliances...
...and at least one outlet with built-in USB ports.
To permit flexible placement of floor lamps and other items, there are outlets embedded in the floor along the window-wall side.
The model unit's bedroom.
The view to the east from the bedroom.
The view to the west from the bedroom.
The building is being constructed to LEED Silver standards and features items like low-flow toilets in the bathrooms.
Full tile enclosures are found in both the tub/shower in the hall bathroom...
...and in the master bathroom shower stall.
Stone tile floors and sleek vanities round out the bathroom decor.
Each unit has a laundry closet with a high-efficiency Bosch washer and dryer.
The view of Fergie's from the apartment. Shapiro explained that building around the structure required a delicate touch.
The view from the driveway down Sansom Street towards Fergie's Pub...
...which will get another small eatery for a next-door neighbor in the Sansom Street commerdial space. The building's delivery dock is to Fergie's left.
The Sansom Street facade of the building.
The driveway, viewed from Sansom Street.
The developers also installed bike racks along Sansom Street.
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