Homes for Sale Coming to King of Prussia

So they're wood, stucco and brick rather than brown stone, but the Brownstones at the Village at Valley Forge will let homeowners stake a claim on the new, more walkable King of Prussia. | Rendering courtesy Toll Brothers

Even though they’re made of tan siding, brown brick and cream rather than brown stone, the Brownstones at the Village at Valley Forge will let homeowners in on the action in the new, more walkable King of Prussia. | Rendering courtesy Toll Brothers

It’s the dream of more than a few urbanites I know to live right next door to a Wegmans. Even better: owning their own place next door to one. Starting early next year, these people will be able to get their heart’s desire courtesy Toll Brothers City Living, which broke ground this month on the first buildings of a 132-unit condominium development.

All they’ll have to do is move to King of Prussia.

The Brownstones at the Village at Valley Forge, as Toll is calling it, is the first for-sale residential development in King of Prussia in many years and the only one that will be in the middle of what’s shaping up to be its first truly walkable mixed-use community. That’s right: living next door to a Wegmans here means you step out your door and walk over to the store, no driving involved.

And if you happen to be employed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s new clinic in K of P, you’ll have it made in the shade, for it’s a very short walk in the opposite direction.

Plus, said Toll Brothers City Living Division President Brian Emmons, “all the cool shops are just a few minutes away.”

The Brownstones will be similar in plan to the 2400 South condominium Toll built in Graduate Hospital’s western reaches two years ago: each four-story building will contain two three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath condominium units. The lower units will offer optional basements, while the upper ones introduce something new to King of Prussia: optional roof decks. All of the units will have outdoor living space in the form of rear balconies.

Work on the first six units, including the two sales models, is now under way; Emmons said Toll Brothers expects to complete these units by October, when the development will go on the market. Work on the next 18 units should begin by then and be complete by early 2017, with more units coming on line as the project progresses.

The Brownstones is one more piece in the larger plan spearheaded by the King of Prussia District to introduce more walkable urban environments into the mix of uses in the Philadelphia region’s largest edge city.

Toll Drops Plans for Society Hill Playhouse Site

The apartment buildings Toll Brothers said would replace the condos it had planned to build on 8th Street above South won't happen either. | Rendering: JKRP Architects via Toll Brothers

The apartment buildings Toll Brothers said would replace the condos it had planned to build on 8th Street above South won’t happen either. | Rendering: JKRP Architects via Toll Brothers

First, it was condominiums. Then, rental apartments. Now, nothing.

Toll Brothers has dropped plans to build apartment buildings on two plots of land it owns in Washington Square West. The lots, which face each other across 8th Street, currently house the former Society Hill Playhouse and a parking garage.

After testy negotiations with near neighbors caused Toll Brothers to drop its original plans to build condominiums on the two parcels, the company announced that it would build two apartment buildings by right instead. Now those plans have been scuttled.

Toll Brothers City Living Division Vice President Brian Emmons declined further comment when we asked for details about the decision or any possible plans for the sites.

Toll Brothers Announce New, $400M Investment Venture

preview-Toll_Brothers-400x400Toll Brothers has announced a new capital and asset management venture, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal and a release from the company. The venture is in partnership with a “large institutional investor” who is yet unnamed, and its goal is “to provide builders and developers with land banking and joint venture capital.”

The venture will be managed by Gibraltar, the Horsham-based Toll Brothers’ subsidiary for capital and asset management. It will have $400 million of funding, with 75% coming from the mystery investor and the other 25% from Toll Brothers. The venture will focus on providing third party builders and developers with the necessary funds.  Read more »

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.

Read more »

Potential Festival Pier Developers Whittled Down to Three Finalists

Master Plan for the Central Delaware. Photo via the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

Master Plan for the Central Delaware | Photo via the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation sent out notice in February that they were looking for expressions of interests regarding the redevelopment of the Festival Pier, an 11-acre site at Spring Garden Street and Columbus Boulevard. Today, it looks as though they’ve whittled down the field from eight companies to three, each will be required to incorporate a residential component into their plans.

Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the DRWC has “shortlisted” these three groups:

  • Jefferson Apartment Group (McLean, Virginia) and Haverford Properties Inc. (Haverford, Pennsylvania)
  • RAL Companies (New York)
  • Toll Brothers (Horsham, Pennsylvania)

Kostelni reports that a “residential component will be the anchor” of the site and the DRWC “narrowed it down by considering experience and financial capacity to complete a large-scale, mixed-use project.” The development of Festival Pier is seen as a precursor of sorts to the process of redeveloping Penn’s Landing.

Each company now has until Read more »

Is the Former Please Touch Museum Site Going to be Demolished?

The former Please Touch Museum Site at 208-212 N. 21st St. | Photo: James Jennings

The former Please Touch Museum Site at 208-212 N. 21st St. | Photo: James Jennings

Here’s an interesting nugget of information found in a document of the January minutes of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA). As you’ll read in topic #7 under the Zoning Committee report, Toll Brothers has “an agreement” to buy the former Please Touch Museum site at 208-212 North 21st Street (near Race). Fast forward to February, where minutes show that a meeting with near neighbors took place on January 28. Initial plans called to knock down the building in favor of a five-story (58-feet high) condo building housing “approximately 35 units” with balconies and underground parking accessed from Van Pelt Street.

Unsurprisingly, the proposal was met with “unanimous opposition” from near neighbors, who also deemed it “unacceptable” due to its size and it being “out of character with the rest of our neighborhood,” according to the doc. Ed Panek, LSNA’s zoning committee chair, would not comment on the project. When asked about the project, Michael Duff, marketing director at Toll Brothers, said, Read more »

Morning Headlines: The Wall Street Journal Profiles Toll Brothers’ ‘Foxcatcher’ Project

The Carriage Barn at Liseter | Photo: Toll Bros.

The Carriage Barn at Liseter | Photo: Toll Bros.

The Philadelphia area has gotten a lot of national attention recently. Hot on the heels of the New York Times’ travel list and Conde Nast ranking Philly super-high in the global shopping sphere, The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the former site of John du Pont’s mansion at Foxcatcher Farms in Newtown Square–the place where du Pont murdered wrestler David Schultz and the setting for the movie ‘Foxcatcher’ starring Channing Tatum and Steve Carrell.

It’s also the site of the latest project from nearby Toll Brothers, who is transforming the over 200-acre site into their latest “luxury development” called Liseter. While they’ve already sold 123 of the upcoming 449 homes, The Wall Street Journal is paying particular attention to the restored carriage barn, the prior home to award-winning thoroughbreds:

A newly restored carriage barn, with a soaring foyer and large stone fireplace, is the centerpiece of a communal area that includes a fitness center, outdoor pool, tennis courts and a separate recreation center.

Toll Brothers originally planned to tear down the two silos on the barn, but designer Mary Cook, president of Mary Cook Associated in Chicago, made one into an entranceway and found creative ways to reuse original materials to transform the barn into a $4.5M club with a retractable wall providing views of the estate:

Old wooden partitions between horse stalls became wainscoting. A barn door became a sliding door to a conference room. A stone wall is now the backdrop to a lavish bar. An old tack trunk is now an end table. Ms. Cook discovered more than 1,000 ribbons from prizewinning horses and framed several hundred.

The story also states that Toll Brothers hasn’t “shied away” from the notorious past of the property and, in turn, that hasn’t kept buyers away, either.

• Du Pont Estate Remade With Luxury Homes [Wall Street Journal]

More on the DNC and other Philly area headlines

Toll Brothers Pushing 410 At Society Hill

A rendering of 410 at Society Hill, courtesy of Toll Brothers

Toll Brothers, the Horsham, PA-based megadeveloper, has found late-career success in the unlikeliest of places: bustling cities. The company has done projects throughout New York City, as well as the remarkably successful 600-unit Naval Square in Graduate Hospital. Now Toll Bros. is pushing its latest Philadelphia offering: the still-under-construction 410 at Society Hill, the luxury condo complex on Headhouse Square that replaces the large hole where Newmarket once stood.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Is 1911 Walnut Doomed?

Screenshot via Google Street View.

Screenshot via Google Street View.

Last December the Philadelphia Business Journal reported that Toll Brothers Inc. was interested in the long-vacant — loooong vacant — property at 1911 Walnut Street. The luxury homebuilder’s plans for the undeveloped site included a 50-story tower for condos and hotel and retail space, which made sense for Rittenhouse Square.

Except now, they’ve pulled out.

PBJ’s Natalie Kostelni says the Toll Bros. have decided to walk away from the project for reasons for which are, as of press time, unknown. More from the Journal: Read more »

Morning Headlines: Pennsylvanians Go to Barneys in New York!

“Left unsaid was an ever-so-slight inferiority complex: The Keystone State is grand, but the Empire State, grander.” This is an actual sentence penned by the New York Times’ Trip Gabriel in an article about Pennsylvanians and Philadelphians going to New York, which, as Simon Van Zuylen-Wood notes, perpetuates rather tired stereotypes that all we want for Christmas is a trip (Trip!) to Barneys in the Big City.

Additionally, Gabriel misquotes his own newspaper when he says, “If Pennsylvanians were inclined to feel a little like a sixth borough when contemplating New York City…” The article to which he refers was not about the state as a sixth borough, which would be the largest borough in known history, but the city of Philadelphia as a sixth borough. And its point, actually, was that New Yorkers were moving to Philadelphia because it was more affordable and manageable than New York is. It had nothing to do with inferiority.

And there’s more…

Read more »

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