How can we possibly step inside the rooms at 410 at Society Hill, you say? The old Newmarket spot remains a concrete wasteland! Fortunately, the sales office has replicated, with utter precision, many rooms in the Toll Brothers’ upcoming luxury condo developments. Photos below were taken by Angelly Carrion.
It’s official: The construction and marketing of Toll Brothers 410 At Society Hill — aka THE DEVELOPMENT THAT WILL FINALLY RECLAIM THE GIANT NEWMARKET/WILL SMITH/STAMPER SQUARE WASTELAND — has begun in earnest: brochures, floorplans, renderings, a construction timeline, and the opening of a sales office where huge chunks of sample apartments are installed, IKEA-style, in order to demonstrate what, for instance, the kitchens in the luxury Toll Brothers units will look like.
The end date for construction has been set at 18 to 24 months from now. The luxury condos will have 55 units, ranging from one- to four-bedrooms, each with a minimum of 1,000 square feet. There are six different unit designs, but all with have at least one private terrace.
Newmarket was a kind of funky shopping mall, very Marimekko, in 1975, but it tanked. It was too cool for Headhouse’s historic school. Said tanking took a long time. At some point, Will Smith got excited about the space and planned to turn it into a W Hotel. Will, come on! The Philly boy should have known better. Most recently, developer Marc Stein had this crazy idea to build a high-rise there called Stamper Square. No dice.
In more recent years, homeless men have found it a comfortable place for a nap. See arrows.
Does the Toll Brothers City Living’s Naval Square development shout “city living” to you? It might not. The gated community that fortunately saved William Strickland’s landmark Naval Home on Grays Ferry Avenue seems more suburban than citified.
But it’s not just because of its gates. Even the ungated communities Toll Brothers City Living proposes in Philadelphia can seem less than fully urban. Take 2400 South, an in-progress development on a commercial thoroughfare with no commerce at all. Or how about the strictly residential project–at 410 S. Front–that is planned for the middle of Society Hill’s one real entertainment district?
Turns out, those who buy Toll Brothers City Living properties don’t necessarily want to live above a store.
“We would love to build mixed residential/commercial in this market,” says Brian Emmons, the vice president in charge of Toll’s City Living division, ”but right now, [builders who do] can’t fill their retail. While everyone likes to live near commercial, the luxury demographic buyer chooses to live two to three blocks from it, not directly above it.”
It’s as if they’ve lived parallel lives, Robert Ridarelli and Bruce Toll. They both founded empires based on their names (Bobby Rydell; Toll Brothers) in the 1960s. Rydell was a teen idol with hits like “Volare” and “Wild One.” Toll Brothers was a real estate idol with hits like America’s Best Builder and National Builder of the Year. Bobby Rydell starred in a film. Toll Brothers starred in a film. They both called the Philadelphia area home. A lifetime of synergies.