Photos by Laura Kicey
It’s not very often that the shiny new luxury high rise is rental-only. But such is the case at 2116 Chestnut. The building is home to 321 units spread between 30 floors all set above a five-story parking garage. Residents enjoy an entire amenities floor closer to the kind you’d find in a fancy condo building, as well as high-end finishes in their own apartments.
In addition to the standard-issue stainless steel kitchen appliances and granite countertops, individual units each come with front-loading washers and dryers and their own dedicated hot water heaters. Units range in size from about 620 square feet in the studios to approximately 1,200 square feet in two-bedroom, two-bath models. Expect to pay anywhere between $1,800 for a studio closer to the ground and up to $3,675 for a two-bedroom, two-bath space on the 34th floor.
Tower Investments’ Bart Blatstein is planning to unload his Tower Place, the H2L2-designed apartment building that took less than a year to go up within the frame of a mid-century state office building. The luxury tower, which has 204 apartments, is 75 percent occupied, writes Natalie Kostelni, and is being marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle. [...]
This unit on the market in the Lippincott references the past without being slavishly historic. With a Duncan Phyfe (or Duncan Phyfe-style) table, modern art, industrial lighting, oriental rugs and African art colliding in an eclectic mix, a steel beam with plump rivets spanning 14 feet, floor to ceiling, represents both old and new.
The Washington Square apartment has multiple views of the park from 19 custom-designed windows.
Today was the grand opening of 2116 Chestnut (left), a 34-story residential building that already has more than 100 people moved in. Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger, who was intimately involved in making 2116 Chestnut happen, said in a statement that the city “is fast becoming a place of choice for exciting new projects which bring with them investment, new public spaces, and jobs.”
In fact, 2116 Chestnut provided 800 jobs. It was developed by the John Buck Company of Chicago along with the INDURE Fund, whose CEO, Jeff Kanne, trumpeted another indication of the fund’s faith in the city: “the complete revitalization of the Girard Trust Property on Market Street, with a targeted construction date of 2014.”
We assume Kanne is talking about Girard Square (formerly owned by the city-run Girard Trust) between 11th and 12th, for which INDURE has been trying to secure city or state funding for more than a year. (At the groundbreaking for 2116 Chestnut last year, in fact, Kanne told the Inquirer’s Joseph N. DiStefano that any plan he has for Girard Square “depends on getting money.”)
Detail of a daguerreotype photograph "No. 46 to No. 52, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania" 1843. Image courtesy Library of Congress via The Atlantic Cities.
The question, put somewhat Shakespearean-ly: From whence will come these eager hoards of renters, these express and admirable souls who in apprehension look not upon home ownership as an investment, a money-saver, a sound notion uttered in mellifluous cadence by parents burdened by great concern for the future? From whence do they derive, either in Center City or on the Main Line? Because, like, there are a lot, lot, lot of new apartments going up and a not unwarranted skepticism about who will live in them.
In plain language from the Inquirer’s ever sensible Joseph N. DiStefano: “Who’s going to live in all those new Main Line apartments?” He then enumerates the various projects that are going up, and it’s not unlike the situation in Center City, where each project may have merit and each developer feels confident, but when put all together, does the sum total of development make sense for the numbers in the future? We shall see.
According to Curbed New York and the New York Post, New York’s narrowest home (pictured left, in a photo from Curbed) has finally sold for $3.25 million. At its widest, the slight house comes in at 8 feet, 4 inches. To add to this wonder, the place has also been home to some famous residents, namely Cary Grant and Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Inspired by this news, I went on a little hunt for Philadelphia’s slimmest digs. Apparently, this is a disputed issue about the web. A Philadelphia Speaks thread led me to a couple residences–one at 305 W. Oxford Street and another at 616 N. Second Street–that arguably grab the win at 10 feet wide.
The Hub is the apartment building on the corner of 40th and Chestnut distinguished by its impressive ground-floor restaurant: Distrito, the Philadelphia outpost of Jose Garces’ popular celebration of Mexican cuisine. The building has a distinctive look: brown and yellowish rectangles make the exterior look woodsy, while the addition of bright green and sleek gunmetal gray spices things up. It’s not for everybody, necessarily, but for those who like it–and for those who simply want more space–good news: A Hub 2 is in the works.
The new building will be designed, again, by Piatt Associates Architecture, and will be attached to Hub 1. It will require the demolition of the Thai Singha House, but the restaurant isn’t going out of business–it’s just moving down the street to 3900 Chestnut. It’s on hiatus for a month or so while that happens.
A rendering of the kitchen in the Granary
As part of its ongoing partnership, the Inquirer/Plan Philly has an article about the glut of new housing in Center City. JoAnn Greco puts the current count at 1,000 new units, but focuses specifically today on Pearl Properties’ Sansom and the Granary, designed by DAS Architects. The Granary project is actually two: “the retrofit of the original 1862 granary, which calls for another 25 apartments to be located in its upper portion” and “the 227-unit adjunct to The Granary that DAS has built across the street from The Barnes Foundation.”
The two buildings’ exteriors complement each other, says the firm’s Dave Schultz, but residents will want to know what the interior has to offer:
…The two-tiered assemblage of public spaces includes a lobby lounge, fitness center, library/music room, business center, and an 8,000-square-foot rooftop terrace on the eighth floor with sweeping views of the Parkway and downtown.
The promise of ground floor retail includes a big box pet store that will offer daycare and grooming services. Inside, the apartments continue to merge industrial robustness — exposed concrete walls and ceilings — with mod-cons like bamboo flooring and open-shelved kitchens. About half of the units have balconies, and penthouses on the ninth floor have access to their own private terraces.
As for the Sansom, it will have 104 units and “is aiming for a hipper renter, one who wants to line up for fried chicken at Federal Donuts across the street or toss back brine and brew down the block at Sansom Street Oyster House.” Though there’s no parking at the Sansom, there are amenities: “a small fitness center and lounge” and a rumored Adolf Biecker spa and salon. Rents start at $1,895 for one bedrooms.
One of the renderings Max Glass presented to the East Passyunk zoning committee.
The Passyunk Post reports that developer Max Glass’ plan to transform the iconic King of Jeans store into rental apartments with bike share has, for some reason, tanked. Most neighbors were pretty excited about it, especially after Glass altered the plan to address community concerns regarding noise and light. The apartments were meant to appeal to single people without cars, boosting the neighborhood’s younger demographic.
This condo unit in the Steel Factory Lofts in Kensington is pretty special: The combination of the wood ceiling, the exposed brick walls and the hardwood floors in the central open space is every loft-owner’s dream. It also has a vast bathroom with a marble bathtub, a private balcony, deeded parking and five years left on a tax abatement.
The views of the skyline and the bridge are terrific; for those who don’t agree, there’s a skyline on the wall as well.