It might be blasphemous to say, but much like living with complex human beings, sometimes Philadelphia can be a total pain in the derriere. It’s a city rife with struggle, ugliness, and crime; but also hope, beauty, and folks who will reach out to help you on instinct.
The latter description can be one that falls by the wayside for some of us who’ve lived here long enough. Oddly enough, we didn’t realize this until after having watched Cory J. Popp’s “Philadelphia From Above” video, which made us fall in complete and utter love with the city once more.
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.
Commerce Square debuted a new outdoor digital screen that will actually be helpful to the throngs of office workers, commuters and visitors in Center City. Brandywine Realty Trust announced a partnership today with TransitScreen to introduce a digital hub that provides real-time updates on various forms of transportation, including SEPTA and New Jersey Transit schedules, Uber distance times, nearby car share locations and even Indego Bike Share docking info.
Essentially, the one-stop-shop allows you to choose the most convenient form of transportation for whatever trip you’re about to take. CityLab explains that the “goal is to focus on getting city residents to consider all their travel options before they ever leave” and proclaimed that the tech belongs “in every lobby.”
Here’s what that info might look like on the giant LED screen or on a TV in the lobby of the building: Read more »
All signs point towards the redevelopment of the “concrete heap” of a parking garage at 7th and Market into something much different in the future. Brandywine Realty Trust recently dished out $17 million for the building and it quickly became clear thatthey had plans beyond its current set up. In late April, The Inquirer reported that Jerry Sweeney, CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, said the site could hold up to “600,000 square feet of development.” That’s some big time stuff.
Now, Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal says that Brandywine has already set the gears in motion to make that a reality, initiating a change in zoning for the mixed-use parking structure. Read more »
UPDATE (04/24, 12:00 p.m.): Gerard Sweeney, CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, said the company is considering a mixed-use development at this site, according to Jacob Adelman in a business roundup report on Philly.com. While no specific plans are in place, the site “could accommodate at least 600,000 square-feet” of development. That’s a pretty tasty proposition, as Brandywine’s 29-story luxury apartment tower at 1919 Market Street is 455,000 square-feet of space.
ORIGINAL (04/23): It’s confirmed: Brandywine Realty Trust now owns the mixed-use parking garage at 7th and Market Street. According to Joe DiStefano of The Inquirer, the Radnor-based development giant paid $17 million for the “concrete heap” that’s centrally located between a bunch of glossy new projects and Independence Hall. In a separate deal, Brandywine also unloaded $50.75 million worth of office parks in Delaware to Buccini/Pollin Group, including Delaware Corporate Center and Christiana Office Park. Read more »
Independence Blue Cross will lease office space. | Photo: James Jennings
Yesterday’s news was all about the resurgence of Market East, thanks in large part to the massive redevelopment project at The Gallery. Henceforth, it will be known as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia. Let’s not forget about all the activity on the west side of Market Street.
Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Independence Blue Cross will be taking over a sizable chunk of office space at 1900 Market Street, also known as the Stock Exchange building. Brandywine Realty Trust is renovating building, possibly with Read more »
Two major names on the Philadelphia real estate scene (for very, very different reasons) may have just pulled off a a big time deal near Independence Hall. According to Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal, Richard Basciano–yes, that Richard Basciano– has sold the property at 618-34 Market Street to Brandywine Realty Trust. Currently, it’s a parking garage with ground-floor retail, including none-other-than Jerry Blavat’s Geater Gold Radio Network as well as a Dunkin’ Donuts and the Suit Corner.
Transit-oriented development isn’t limited to new projects in the city. The Inquirerreports that J.G. Petrucci, a developer out of Asbury, New Jersey, is planning to bring 68 apartment units to the Chalfont train station.
This new project, called the Station at Chalfont, is expected to break ground in the summer and will follow their other transit-oriented sites, including the 149-unit Station at Manayunk, where rents range from $1,447 per month to $1,887 per month.
We already know that our beloved 30th Street Station–yes, we’re still calling it that–is one of the busiest hubs in the nation. But what will it be like in the year 2040? As Jim Saksa of PlanPhilly points out, that’s partially up to you, boss:
The district plan is a joint effort by Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, SEPTA and other stakeholders to create an implementable vision for the 175-acre area surrounding the station.
In the coming months, the team will develop three different scenarios for the district come 2040. Following another round of public feedback and feasibility studies, those three scenarios will be synthesized into a single District Plan, which will be fully implementable the day it’s released (sometime around fall 2016).
So, do you really want to see the rail yards north of 30th Street Station capped and turned into a platform for the next office and residential towers in a confluence of transportation, residential and commercial activity? Then you kind of have to get involved.
In order for the rail yard cap to happen, that land (technically, the air rights above it) needs to be worth enough to justify the tremendous cost of covering it. Just as the development of Hudson Yards is covering the price of putting a lid on the West Side Yard, burying the rail yard would be effectively paid for with the rent from the skyscrapers built on top.
Name one thing that gets a development nerd (ourselves wholeheartedly included in that category) more excited than a towering crane being installed at a construction site in the city? While renderings may be a close second, the short answer is probably nothing. It means progress and that something soon will rise from that whole in the ground.
Enter 1919 Market, the looooong vacant lot that will see 321 luxury apartments, a ground floor CVS and, let’s not forget, a golf simulator grace the street at the center of the current development boom we’re seeing from the Delaware River all the way into West Philly.
Here’s what we know and also more crane shots with renderings!