Morning Headlines: Is 1911 Walnut Doomed?

Toll Brothers backs out.

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:

Why Toll decided to walk away couldn’t be determined though some say the builder was unable to make the components work while also making those plans financially feasible. A representative from Toll Brothers declined to comment.

The owner of the land, Castleway Properties of Ireland, is now supposedly looking to tidy up any potential zoning issues with the site and either move forward with a project or put it back up for sale.

Kostelni points out Castleway bought the parcel for $36.7 million back in 2007, which may be why they’re having a hard time selling it now. On top of that, past proposals for the site have ended in neighborhood disagreements that have also prevented projects from moving forward.

This has been going on since the 1990s. We have numerous calls out, including several to psychics, to see if the spot will ever find its place in the sun again.

Toll Brothers walking away from Rittenhouse Square development [Philadelphia Business Journal]

Meanwhile, in news elsewhere…

Scam Artists Post Fake Ads for Summer Homes at the Shore [NBC10]

More Artisanry at Broad and Fitzwater in Graduate Hospital [PhillyLiving]

Six Months in Mt Airy: I Like It Here [Philly Skyline]

Fishtown Slumlord Shifting Properties Around After Bank Moves to Foreclose [Philadelinquency]

Civic Design Review to CHOP: Progress made, more work needed on Schuylkill Ave. proposal [PlanPhilly]