The Laurel Will Break Ground for Real Within the Next Two Weeks

The actual start of construction just happens to come six months after the six-month-early ceremonial one.

the laurel construction equipment

Earth-moving equipment stands ready to roll at the Laurel construction site. | Photo: Sandy Smith

Southern Land Company was eager to show off how strong demand was for condo units at the Laurel, the eventual tallest residential tower yet built in Philadelphia. So eager were Southern Land officials that they staged a ceremonial groundbreaking last September, six months ahead of the date they had planned to break ground.

Since then, many observers have passed the grassy lot at the northwest corner of Rittenhouse Square and wondered when the dirt was actually going to start flying.

Here’s the latest from Southern Land: It will start flying either next week or the week after, depending on when all the paperwork is complete.

That just happens to be six months after the ceremonial groundbreaking, so the project is actually right on schedule.

the laurel construction rendering

Rendering: Solomon Coldwell Buenz Architects

Southern Land’s Philadelphia development manager, Brian Emmons, told Philly Mag yesterday that relocation of utilities beneath Moravian Street and administrative and regulatory matters with the Department of Licenses and Inspections accounted for the lag time between ceremonial and actual groundbreaking. Final construction permits should be in hand by the end of next week, he added.

As of now, 25 percent of the 74 condominium units on The Laurel’s upper floors have been pre-sold. The company celebrated this milestone yesterday with a preview event where guests deposited items in a time capsule that will be built into the building’s foundation and opened a century hence.

The 600-foot-tall Laurel remains on track to meet a scheduled 2022 completion date.