Headlines: Dead on Arrival? Committee to Review New 10-Story Project in Old City

Top: View of site from Arch St; Bottom: View of site from south end of Little Boys Court| Images via Google Street View

Top: View of site from Arch St; Bottom: View of site from south end of Little Boys Court| Images via Google Street View

UPDATE: A request to the Philadelphia Historical Commission for an image of the proposed building at 218 Arch Street was answered several hours after this post was published. The rendering can be viewed below.

ORIGINAL:

Among the projects the city’s Architecture Committee is set to hear tomorrow, PMC Property Group’s proposed 10-story mixed-use building in Old City is one of the big ones. Plans include ground-level retail along Arch, two stories of underground parking, and “five or six stories of apartments” with more stories rising in stages the farther back it goes.

However, the Inquirer’s Jacob Adelman reports committee staffers have already expressed a desire for the project to “be scrapped.” Dead on arrival? Not quite. As Adelman notes, the committee “makes non binding recommendations to the full commission” (emphasis ours).

Set on a parking lot at 218 Arch Street (and extending all the way to 226), the intended $28.5 million development would fall on Little Boy’s Court, a small passage said to be “the city’s last remaining cobblestone lane” and a point on which officials noted developers had not voiced significant information regarding its restoration, though their plans do call for it to be included in the development in relation to a courtyard.

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Construction of W / Element Hotel at 15th and Chestnut Underway

Rendering courtesy of Tierney Agency

Rendering courtesy of Tierney Agency

The former parking lot is gone and the teasing presence of inactive site prep vehicles is officially behind us – in other words, construction is underway on the 51-story skyscraper charged with holding a dual-brand hotel development consisting of the 295-room W Philadelphia and 460-room Element Philadelphia.

Check out the bonus night rendering below.

The W/Element project, whose construction commencement was announced yesterday, is being developed by Vine Street Matthews Development, but is owned by Chestlen Development. Starwood Hotels & Resorts will be managing the property. Funding for the $280 million development was made possible with the help of $33 million in tax increment financing and, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni, $160 million in loans.

The building is anticipated to have banquet facilities, an outdoor pool bar and terrace, and food and beverage outlets, as well as retail space along Chestnut Street. And make no mistake: the two hotels may occupy the same space, but they will maintain their distinctive styles and offer different amenities to their guests. Below, a list of their respective features.

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Groundbreaking: Here’s What to Expect from One Riverside

One Riverside | Courtesy: Dranoff Properties

One Riverside | Courtesy: Dranoff Properties

After a long and winding journey, Carl Dranoff’s latest luxury tower, One Riverside, officially broke ground yesterday. When complete, the Cecil Baker-designed building will rise 22-stories above the ground and feature sweeping views of the Schuylkill River as well as multiple vantage points of both the Center City, and ever-expanding University City skylines.

The One Riverside project will be Dranoff’s fourth foray into residential development along the Schuylkill River. Previous developments include Locust Point, Locust on the Park and the Left Bank, which is on the University City side of the river at 3131 Walnut Street.

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It’s Full Steam Ahead at Two Game-Changing Park Projects in South Philly

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The upcoming plans for Smith Playground | via Urban Roots

Connor Barwin has become somewhat of a folk hero here in Philly. When he isn’t making big time plays on the gridiron, he’s spearheading a few game-changing community revitalization projects at two South Philly parks through his foundation, the Make The World Better Project.

Through a partnership with the urban development non-profit Urban Roots Foundation, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and a slew of other local stakeholders, Barwin and crew are in the thick of a major project at Ralph Brooks Park at 20th and Tasker in Point Breeze and are about to kick off their efforts at another one, Smith Playground at 24th and Jackson. Jeffrey Tubbs, a Philly-based developer with JDT International and founder of Urban Roots, said that the project took its, ah-hem, roots over two and a half years ago with a meeting with Jahmall Crandall, the founder of I.am.SP (short for I am South Philadelphia). Crandall’s original vision sought to redo the ragged basketball courts at the park. Let’s just say he got his wish and a whole lot more.

Tubbs said the ideas then started to snowball into something bigger. First, enlarge and resurface the court and outfit it with a pair of top notch hoops. Next, freshen up the tot lot with a softer look and brand new play equipment. Then, as Tubbs explained, the project reached a tipping point when the PWD got involved and provided nearly $200,000 to install green infrastructure–namely, a rain garden in the southernmost part of the park–and advanced storm water management systems.

Boom–that’s all, right? It turns out that this is just the beginning.

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Headlines: Important Zoning Overlay Bill For South Philly to Meet Council Today

The vacant lot on northeast corner of Broad and Washington. | Photo via Google Street View.

The vacant lot on northeast corner of Broad and Washington. | Photo via Google Street View.

A bill that would create a zoning overlay called the South Broad Street Gateway will be introduced to City Council later today, PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports. The bill’s purpose? To pave the way for the project developer Bart Blatstein has in store for the northeast corner of Broad and Washington.

Yes, you read that correctly. There’s finally an update of note regarding the proposed mixed-use complex we last heard had called for two residential towers and a retail component. Blatstein has since refined his plans to include 1,600 units in the both towers and 180,000 square feet of retail space. According to Brey, both structures would rise to 30 stories, while the site as whole would be surrounded by “three-story retail storefronts and restaurants, with a mess of parking in the middle of the property.”

Councilman Johnson’s aide, Steve Cobb, was quoted as say the project could potentially start moving along in the fall.

Meanwhile, some folks aren’t happy with the new protected bike lines in Northeast Philly…

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Allan Domb to Debut Boutique Rental Units at the Alison Building in July

The Alison Building | Photo: Allan Domb Real Estate

The Alison Building | Photo: Allan Domb Real Estate

Hot off his successful bid for City Council At-Large, Allan Domb is set to unveil the first round of super high-end rental units inside the Alison Building at 1805 Walnut Street, with some overlooking Rittenhouse Square. Set betwixt 10 Rittenhouse and 1801 Walnut Street (the corner building the that houses Anthropologie), the Alison Building is anchored by a three-story Barnes and Noble. The residences above will feature a 24-hour doorman and command rents between $2,650 and $7,950 per month.

Work began on the upper floors of the building in the fall, and a rep from Allan Domb Real Estate says the first round of what will be 19 luxury units will be delivered July 1. Floor plans range from 515-square-feet all the way up to 5,900-square-feet for the penthouse (more on that in a bit).

Here is the breakout, minus the penthouse (more on that in a bit, we promise):

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Headlines: Big Plan to Cap the Railyards at 30th Street Station Needs You

30th Street Station. Photo | Jeff Fusco

30th Street Station. Photo | Jeff Fusco

After the planning process for the 175-acre area surrounding 30th Street Station officially kicked off in January, the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan is starting to take shape.

A team lead by Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, PennDOT and SEPTA (plus additional public stakeholders) will release three conceptual diagrams at an open house scheduled for tonight from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 30th Street Station.

Each one is an ambitious view into what one of the busiest transportation hubs in the nation could look like in the not-too-distant future. Amtrak gave PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa a sneak preview of the trio of concepts, which call for capping parts of the railyards or the highway in some fashion.

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What’s Going on at the Other Gigantic Lot at Broad and Washington?

Northwest corner of Broad and Washington, December 2014 | Photo: James Jennings

Northwest corner of Broad and Washington, December 2014 | Photo: James Jennings

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: there is a proposal to develop an enormous lot on the corner of Broad and Washington into a mixed-use apartment and retail complex. The next logical question is: oh yeah, which one?

By now, you know all about Bart Blatstein’s plans to turn the northeast corner into a retail/residential project (with possibly two apartment towers), but Naked Philly spotted an interesting listing on LoopNet that sheds some light on the lot on the northwest corner.

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Headlines: Boyd Site to Get TargetExpress; Tower Request Withdrawn

Boydstheatre-19th-chestnut-project

Early rendering of the redevelopment plan

Target, Tarjey, whatever you call it — at least one is coming to Center City. According to the Inquirer’s Jacob Adelman, Target spokesperson Erika Winkels has announced that a portion of the Boyd Theatre development site will include a 21,000-square foot TargetExpress store.

Adelman writes the spot reserved at 19th and Chestnut — anticipated to have a July 2016 opening  — will cover “over two floors” of the historic Raymond Pace Alexander building, which, per the latest plans, is slated to be “enlarged through construction of an adjacent three-story retail building.” Said building is part of the recently approved redevelopment plan for the project. From the Inquirer (emphasis ours):

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32-Story Tower on Chestnut Street Inches Forward, Mural “Won’t Be Touched”

A 32-story tower is proposed for 709 Chestnut Street | Photo: James Jennings

A 32-story tower is proposed for 709 Chestnut Street | Photo: James Jennings

It looks as though the 700 block of Chestnut Street is about to swap a longtime surface parking lot owned by the Parkway Corporation for a 32-story apartment tower sometime the the not-too-distant future. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports the Historical Commission approved the project at 709 Chestnut Street last week, although the split 4-3 vote wasn’t exactly a resounding yes.

Interestingly enough, the lot itself isn’t historical. The project went before the Commission because part of it will overhang the historically designated Union Trust building next door to the west. Carl Primavera, attorney for the developers, said that the overhang was for “design reasons” due to the fact that they don’t own the building at 707 Chestnut Street (more on this after the jump). As such, the 8-foot overhang would incorporate the elevator core and also allow light to some of the amenity floor.

A partnership between Parkway and Roseland, a subsidiary of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation., announced the luxury apartment development in March, which will consist of 304 units and 125-space robotic parking system. Here’s what Marshall Tycher, Roseland’s president, told us about the project after the announcement:

“While it is a work in progress, the building currently has over 7,000 square-feet of indoor amenities including fitness center, media center, private dining, and children’s playroom. We are also planning 4,500 square-feet of outdoor amenities on two levels,  including outdoor kitchen and dining, outdoor living room with fireplace, children’s playground, dog yard, and more.”

Primavera said those numbers have been slightly updated since then, with 6,300-square-feet of indoor amenity space and 5,200-square-feet of outdoor space.

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