6 Philly Development Projects That Are Springing Forward

Let's turn the clocks ahead on some of Philly's biggest projects.

Now that we’ve all had a chance to adjust to that that whole spring forward phenomenon, let’s take a few minutes to look at a handful of projects that are making progress as we officially head into spring. Remember, you’re not losing an hour of precious sleep, you’re gaining another hour of glorious sunlight!

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center:


Sure, the near-record breaking concrete pour at the turn of the year may have garnered all of the attention, but that’s winter type stuff. Spring will see the city’s soon-to-be-tallest building rise higher and higher out of the large hole at 19th and Arch. To be frank: that’s exciting. Comcast has recently said they’re going to take up all of the office space within the building and it’s possible that it’s not the last one in the area for the cable goliath. Don’t forget: the Four Seasons will also become one of Philly’s most exclusive hotels as it moves from the Parkway all the way up to the top floors of the CITC.

FMC Tower:

Not to be totally outdone in the realm of skyline redefining buildings, the FMC Tower is currently taller than the CITC and it’s rising higher everyday. The building will complete the triumvirate of Cira Centre buildings and eventually peak at 730 feet–good enough for the 6th tallest in Philly once everything is done and dusted. Featuring a mix of offices, extended stay units from AKA and a ground-floor retail component, the building is scheduled to be completed in 2016. 

Manayunk Bridge Trail:

While most of the attention has gone to the Rail Park as Philly’s next transformative public space (and rightfully so), the Manayunk Bridge Trail project is every bit as exciting from an adaptive reuse and recreation point of view. Better yet, it’s actually under construction! Connecting Manayunk to the Cynwyd Heritage Trail in Montgomery County, the grand stone bridge will provide unparalleled views of the Schuylkill River and become yet another go-to destination for active folks and sightseers, alike. Work on the $4.12 million project is expected to be completed in the fall. Yes, we know the bikers in the above tweet are not real.

Braverman Building:


A photo posted by mmpartners (@mmpartners) on

If you’ve been following along with MM Partners on Instagram, you’ll know all about the progress of their projects. However, it’s the Braverman Building at 2617 West Girard Avenue that’s really starting to take shape. Slated to become a mixed-use building with apartments, the Braverman Building is actually the miniature version of Girard27, a larger development featuring 68 units, 10 homes, and 15,000 square-feet of retail space across the street. The Braverman Building is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in spring 2015.

East Market:

A photo posted by Wes (@someguyinphilly) on

While the CITC and FMC towers will redefine the city’s skyline, East Market will look to transform its core. Reviving a long-beleaguered commercial corridor is a ton of work and, much like the melting snow takes away the grime of winter (the massive demo is ongoing), East Market’s ambitious blend of retail and residential will look to gloss-up Market Street and make the area more approachable/walkable for residents and visitors. More digital billboards are on the way, but so is a MOM’s Organic Market.

Cheesecake Factory:

A line from the movie Old School pops into my head every time I pass the soon-to-be Cheesecake Factory, I see Blue–he’s glorious! Believe me, I know it’s weird, but it’s also true. Forget the fact that this place is going to be mainly used as a Cheesecake Factory and look at how incredible its presence will be on the corner of 15th and Walnut. Could it have been a little taller? Maybe. But, who cares? Bohlin Cywinski Jackson looks to have knocked this one out of the park.

And one for good luck, 15th and Chestnut:

Up the street a bit from the mega-cheesecake palace is a corner that will look drastically different over the next few years (and really, forever). Sure,  you’ve got the site prep of the will-it-or-won’t-it-just-start-construction-already W Hotel, a tight-lipped project that is all but officially happening. Across the street at 1515 Chestnut is the ongoing work on what will be called The Avenir. Slated to be ready by the spring, Alterra Property Group is busy converting the the building into apartments, including some of Philly’s first micro units (320 square-feet to 650 square-feet). Want real proof the change is real? Stop over at Kimye’s Wendy’s now that it’s moved off of the corner and a few doors down the block. Dare we say, the new look and atmosphere is actually quite inviting.


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