The Top 5 Real Estate Stories of 2016

We still don't know what Toll others' proposed mixed-use tower on Jewelers Row will look like, but we do know its facade won't look like this, and that has the city's preservation community up in arms. | Photo: Oscar Beisert

We still don’t know what Toll others’ proposed mixed-use tower on Jewelers Row will look like, but we do know its facade won’t look like this, and that has the city’s preservation community up in arms. | Photo: Oscar Beisert

As we close the book on 2016, let’s take a look back at the year in real estate and development. What were the stories that got people’s attention this year? Here are our picks:

Toll Brothers goes tall on Jewelers Row and sets off a preservation fight.

A few years ago, Toll Brothers, the Horsham-based luxury home builder, decided to enter the urban development game with its City Living division. Urbanist critics loved to fault the builder’s Philadelphia projects for their notable lack of urban features like density and mixed uses. So when the company announced it wanted to build an apartment tower with street-level retail in Philadelphia, everyone cheered, right? Wrong, because the tower would replace three buildings on historic Jewelers Row. The fight to preserve the buildings pitted the preservation community against just about all of the property owners on the 700 block of Sansom Street, who see the apartment tower as giving their businesses a shot in the arm from a ready-made customer base. (Or so it appeared from the testimony delivered to the Philadelphia Historical Commission in September, when it opted to punt on the issue of preserving the endangered buildings. The Jewelers Row merchants who appeared at this month’s Washington Square West Civic Association Zoning Committee meeting sang a different tune altogether.) Toll can build this project by right under the lot’s zoning, but Toll has indicated it wants to work with the community to shape a project everyone could live with. Right now, it looks like that project has yet to emerge. Read more »

Saige Cafe Brings Tapas, Wine and Coffee to Chestnut Street

Saige Cafe is coming to 2116 Chestnut.

Saige Cafe is coming to 2116 Chestnut.

Saige Cafe, which has locations in Toms River, New Jersey and on the campus of Temple University (1802 North Warnock Street) is making the big dive into a location at 22nd and Chestnut Street in the 2116 Chestnut Building. Initially the building’s first-floor retail was to be occupied Mercadito, a Mexican concept by Chicago restaurateur Alfredo Sandoval. Those plans have fallen through.

The window display advertises that the Saige Cafe on Chestnut will be a wine and coffee bar and will offer brunch and tapas as well. The Temple University location is an attractive spot that hits all of the touchstones of today’s design; white subway tile, distressed wood, Edison lights in cages and in a bit of a twist, stools made out of cool looking metal wheels.

Saige is taking just a piece of the retail space at 2116, 6,313 square feet remain available for lease.

We’ve reached out to Saige regarding a timeline and further details on the project, we’ll update when they reply.

Saige Cafe – Center City [Foobooz]

2116 Chestnut’s Open House Proceeds Without Incident

The view from 2116 Chestnut looking south

The view from 2116 Chestnut looking south

On Thursday, 2116 Chestnut, the good-looking apartment tower on 21st and Chestnut, hosted an open house with hors d’oeuvres and drinks and a DJ. The event was hosted on the building’s “amenity floor,” which has a fitness center, entertainment center (a dark room with comfy chairs and a huge TV that tenants can sign up to use), and roof deck with greenery and a hot tub, among other things. The catering was provided by Fooda, the Chicago-based company that arrived in Philly just a couple months ago. Tours of units were offered, and there was lots of schmoozing.

Read more »

Open House at 2116 Chestnut on Thursday

2116 Chestnut. Image via the building's website.

2116 Chestnut. Image via the building’s website.

2116 Chestnut, the 34-story apartment tower near Rittenhouse Square that opened last summer, will host an open house on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will be held on the building’s rooftop deck, and will feature complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. There will be a DJ and tours of sample apartment units for all guests.

The slick glass 2116 Chestnut has 321 units and was built by the John Buck Co. of Chicago, with additional funding from the Indure Fund, a union-backed real estate investment fund, and the state of Pennsylvania. Electricians’ union chief John Dougherty played a major role in getting the project off the ground.

Read more »

Luxury Rental Tower at 22nd and Chestnut Is Ready for Occupancy

Though the 34-story tower called (rather sensibly) 2116 Chestnut won’t be done with construction until the end of the summer, studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms on floors 1 through 14 are ready to be rented now. The tower has an enclosed garage with 130 spaces as well as a very eco-friendly car share program. There’s 24-hour security and site management. Let’s take a look at some other amenities that residents will enjoy.

• Bike and unit storage
• Mailroom and package room
• Outdoor sundeck with green roof, hot tub, grill area, outdoor seating
• Health club
• Club room
• Party room
• Theater
• Business center/conference rooms
• Wi-Fi in the common areas
• Pet-friendly

Read more »

2116 Chestnut: Renderings, Floorplans, Restricted Dog Breeds

In November 2012, the Chicago-based John Buck Company topped off its first Philadelphia project: the 34-story rental building at 2116 Chestnut, once the site of a Louis Magaziner building. The building–which is now accepting online applications–will offer studios, 1- and 2-bedrooms, along with indoor parking, a dog run, car share, bike storage and other highly desirable amenities. Studios will start at $1,700 per month and 1 bedrooms at $1,950 per month.

Read more »