Cherry on Top: Parkway Complex With Mega Whole Foods “Tops Out” Today

Rodin Square will bring a combination of luxury apartments, shopping, banking and health care to a three-acre parcel near the Ben Franklin Parkway.

The Dalian

Rodin Square/The Dalian on the Park site from September | Photo: James Jennings

The development scene on the Ben Franklin Parkway is booming these days as multiple big-time projects–including a revamped luxury hotel, over 1,000 apartments, bridge and park improvements and more–are bringing all kinds of attention to Philly’s cultural corridor.

One such project, a massive mixed-use development dubbed Rodin Square, takes up about a full city block on a three-acre parcel bound by 21st ad 22nd streets, and Spring Garden Street, Pennsylvania Avenue and Hamilton Street (map). Dalian Development and International Financial Company (IFC), along with INTECH Construction, will officially “top out” the project today at a ceremony slated for noon.

The event will take place on the tricked-out “Skydeck” amenity terrance overlooking the Parkway, and mark a milestone in the construction process for the $160 million project. The groundbreaking took place in August 2014, and construction is expected to fully wrap up in summer of 2016. The apartments will be ready soon thereafter, but you’ll have to wait a tad longer for the gigantic Whole Foods Market to arrive–it’s scheduled to open in fall 2016.

So what will we have when the proverbial dust has settled? Let’s just say you can expect some big things.

The entire development is really two separately owned projects combined on one site, and all of it designed by MV+A Architects of Washington D.C and built by Philly’s own INTECH.

Rodin Square, owned by IFC, is the retail portion, and Dalian on the Park is the residential community owned by Dalian Development. When complete, the latter will be comprised of 293 luxury apartments inside a 10-story tower, and the Skydeck (you can’t forget that!).

The Dalian promises to be packed with amenities. So much so, that we’re just going to let the press release take it from here:

Resident amenities include … double height, hotel- style lobby with 20 feet of glass and amazing city views; clubroom with lounge, bar/media room, billiards room, and an e-cafe; state of the art fitness center with 20 feet of glass and yoga room; a dog wash room; and 35,000 square foot rooftop Sky Park with an infinity edge pool, indoor- outdoor heated cabana including TVs for year round use, an outdoor kitchen with multiple grills, and a large green roof feature. Residences will feature engineered hardwood flooring throughout, floor to ceiling, uninterrupted glass, and luxury features and finishes.

It’s quite an impressive list, indeed. However, the retail aspect of the development will seek to set Rodin Square/Dalian apart from other apartment complexes in the city. For one, it will boast a 55,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market, one of the largest in the nation, that features a 5,000-square-foot cafe and a two-story glass facade.

The rest of the retail includes an interesting mix of familiar names, including an 11,000-square-foot CVS/Caremark at 21st and Hamilton, a 12,000-square-foot site for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital at 22nd and Spring Garden, and a 1,500-square-foot spot for Santander on Hamilton Street.