Hard Hat Tour: 1213 Walnut

Now that it's on the verge of completion, no one's calling this place the "Fergie Tower" anymore. It does play nice with the neighbor it envelops, though - and the tenants will find it even nicer.

The café-style community great room at 1213 Walnut. | Photos: Sandy Smith; renderings: Design Collective via Goldenberg Group

Philadelphia’s newest hotel is in its home stretch, sprinting towards an August opening.

Wait, did I say “hotel”? Forgive me, for I had a momentary lapse of memory in recalling what I was touring at 1213 Walnut St.

The building that local wags had dubbed the “Fergie Tower” is being referred to by that moniker much less often now that it’s a reality. The three companies in charge of making it happen — the Goldenberg Group, Houston-based Hines and Washington-based ASB Real Estate Investments — have always called it by its Midtown Village street address in Washington Square West, and its tenants will most likely do the same; after all, if they don’t, the Postal Service might not deliver their mail.

The building’s name may be prosaic, but its attributes and amenities are anything but. Their scope and style bring to mind a luxury hotel, which is what the owners and developers had in mind. As Goldenberg Group Executive Vice President Seth Shapiro led me around, he rattled off all the building’s features and described the thinking that went into the spaces and the relationships between them. He did such a good job, in fact, that Anthony Barone, the Bozzuto Management Company representative who’s marketing the building to prospective tenants, hardly had to say a word on our tour. (Once the building’s complete, Goldenberg, ASB and Hines will turn the keys over to Bozzuto to run it.)

The aesthetic the Design Collective created for the 26-story, 322-unit building marries industrial chic with makerspace magic and high modern style. You can see examples of each in the photos below. Interspersed with them are some renderings showing what the spaces will look like when finished. Time constraints kept me from going up to the building’s top-floor community deck, but I’ve been assured the view from it is truly spectacular.

Pre-leasing is already under way at the 1213 Walnut website and at the leasing office at 12th and Sansom streets.

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