32-Story Tower on Chestnut Street Inches Forward, Mural “Won’t Be Touched”
It looks as though the 700 block of Chestnut Street is about to swap a longtime surface parking lot owned by the Parkway Corporation for a 32-story apartment tower sometime the the not-too-distant future. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports the Historical Commission approved the project at 709 Chestnut Street last week, although the split 4-3 vote wasn’t exactly a resounding yes.
Interestingly enough, the lot itself isn’t historical. The project went before the Commission because part of it will overhang the historically designated Union Trust building next door to the west. Carl Primavera, attorney for the developers, said that the overhang was for “design reasons” due to the fact that they don’t own the building at 707 Chestnut Street (more on this after the jump). As such, the 8-foot overhang would incorporate the elevator core and also allow light to some of the amenity floor.
A partnership between Parkway and Roseland, a subsidiary of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation., announced the luxury apartment development in March, which will consist of 304 units and 125-space robotic parking system. Here’s what Marshall Tycher, Roseland’s president, told us about the project after the announcement:
“While it is a work in progress, the building currently has over 7,000 square-feet of indoor amenities including fitness center, media center, private dining, and children’s playroom. We are also planning 4,500 square-feet of outdoor amenities on two levels, including outdoor kitchen and dining, outdoor living room with fireplace, children’s playground, dog yard, and more.”
Primavera said those numbers have been slightly updated since then, with 6,300-square-feet of indoor amenity space and 5,200-square-feet of outdoor space.
The lot is defined by a vibrant mural entitled Legacy on its east side at 707 Chestnut Street, a building that houses Chef Jose Garces’ Rosa Blanca and not owned by the development team. “That wall will not not touched,” said Primavera, who explained passersby will still be able to see the mural as they walk by from west to east. Comprised of over 1 million hand-placed Venetian glass tiles, the 10,000-square-foot work by Joshua Sarantitis, Eric Okdeh and students from five city middle schools is the largest glass tile in Philadelphia.
As for a timeline, Primavera said that if all approvals are met over the next few months, the project should get started by the end of the year. Plans for the tower will still need to go before the Planning Commission, Civic Design Review and also the Zoning Board of Adjustment.