Friday, December 26, 2014

THE YEAR IN REVIEW: # 1 STORY FROM 2014

PA’s Highest Residential Tower to Rise on South Broad St
A sleek 47-story hotel/condo tower planned for the corner of South Broad & Spruce streets has been approved by the Civic Design Review Committee. The SLS International Hotel and Residences will soar 590 feet and will house 125 luxury condo units, 150 hotel rooms, an Olympic sized swimming pool, a restaurant and retail space. The $200 million building will be Pennsylvania’s tallest residential structure, and its units will be among its most expensive. Construction is expected to take about two years to complete.

Dranoff Properties is clear to begin construction of SLS International Hotel and Residences - a 47-story, 590-foot tower with 125 condos and 150 hotel rooms at Broad and Spruce streets, across the street from the Kimmel Center.

There are currently two buildings on the site. These will be torn down, but first asbestos must be removed.

Remediation will begin in late fall or early winter, with demolition to follow and construction to begin as soon as the site is clear.

The new building will be designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, architects of the world's highest hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.

Project details:
  • 47 stories and 590 feet tall
  • Approximately 423,000 square feet
  • 162 five-star hotel rooms
  • 125 luxury condos, ranging from one-bedroom units to penthouses
  • The hotel and condos units will have separate lobbies
  • Ground-floor retail stores
  • 6,000-square-foot, double-height glass ballroom on the fifth-floor
  • Olympic sized swimming pool, fitness center and spa
  • A ground-floor corner bar and restaurant
  • Target groundbreaking: next fall
  • Construction time: two years
  • Cost: more than $200 million
  • Total parking spots: 233
  • One level of underground parking; three levels above-grade
  • The garage will be limited to residents and hotel-uses, and all parking will be by valet.

The compelling 47-story tower is intended to act as a catalyst for the future of development to the south of Center City, said architect Gene Kohn.

Developer, Carl Dranoff, says the building will be the Pennsylvania’s “tallest structure built for residential use.“

The 590-foot tower will be taller than the William Penn statue on top of City Hall, and its units will be among the City’s most expensive.

Construction will require the demolition 301-309 South Broad Street, the longtime home of Philadelphia International Records. The building suffered significant fire damage in 2010.

The name, SLS International, is a nod to Philadelphia International – which was famous for the “Philadelphia Sound,” showcased in the recordings of artists such as The Three Degrees, Teddy Pendergass, and The O’Jays.

311 South Broad will also be demolished, and the University of the Arts lot at 313 South Broad Street will be taken and used as a loading dock.

The SLS International Hotel and Residences will be one of Philly's most upscale properties once complete. Not only will it be the tallest building on Broad Street, it will also house an Olympic sized swimming pool, a spa and boast the highest penthouses in the city.

The project calls for condos from floors 20 to 47, hotel rooms on lower floors, and amenities including restaurants, a gym, swimming pool and a spa near street level.

The new building will feature stone at the base, but will be primarily made of metal and glass. The glass will have a high-performance coating, and the metal will be covered with a bright metallic paint.
  

Friday, December 19, 2014

THE YEAR IN REVIEW: # 2 STORY FROM 2014

Massive $660M Delaware Riverfront Apartment Complex
A massive 2.5 million square foot development project will be built on a vacant, 5.3-acre site along the Delaware River waterfront. The Philadelphia City Planning Commission approved Waterfront Renaissance Associates’ $660 million plan to build Renaissance Plaza at the corner of Callowhill Street and Columbus Boulevard. Construction of four mixed-use towers will kick off by the summer of 2015 and will be divided into four phases, with one tower completed in each development stage.  

Combined, the four glass and metal high-rises will comprise 1,411 market-rate apartments and 70,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The complex will also include two sport centers, several bars and restaurants and an enclosed parking garage with 500 spaces.

Renaissance Plaza is being developed by Waterfront Renaissance Associates, along with its affiliate Carl Marks & Co., the New York investment firm that pieced together four tracts that make up the plot about three decades ago.

The $660 million development will consist of four buildings that range in height from 21 to 31 stories. The tallest tower will reach 240 feet into the sky, a significant change from the original proposed height of 480 feet. The project will also include a green roof, and will seek LEED Gold Status

Building the first phase would take about 16 months, with each phase of development comprising about 360 apartments. Plans also include 16 townhouses, nearly 70,000 square feet of retail space, and 653 parking spaces along with more than an acre of landscaped public plazas.

A swath of landscaped public space would run through the property, which the developer believes will draw people from the neighborhoods through the property, and down to the river.  Some roofs would offer additional green space.

Since the complex will be built on the west side of Delaware Avenue, not the river side, the developer will pay for a crossing signal to get people to the river itself, and will make improvements between the project and the Spring Garden transit stop.

Soil conditions at the site require piles to support the buildings - 700 are required. They will be drilled, not driven, because of sewer infrastructure.

The project is within the area covered by the newly adopted Central Delaware Overlay, which sets a height limit of 100 feet, but allows developers to earn height bonuses up by providing public amenities.

A developer who maxed out the public amenities – which include building a section of waterfront trail, building to LEED environmental standards, making transit improvement and providing public green space – can build up to 244 feet.

The site along the Delaware River waterfront had many bold ambitions that never came to fruition.

The site had been known for the last 15 years as the future address of the Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center.

That development would have entailed more than 3 million square feet of space consisting of a residential tower and three office buildings, parking for more than 2,000 vehicles and 118,000 square feet of retail space. That never happened.

Last fall, Waterfront Renaissance Associates, made a leap across the river and decided it would move the Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center project to Camden, New Jersey, where the developer has proposed building a 2.3-million-square-foot campus on 16 acres at the former Riverfront State Prison.
  

Friday, December 12, 2014

THE YEAR IN REVIEW: # 3 STORY FROM 2014

401 N. Broad Moving Forward with $70 Million Renovation   
The new owner of 401 North Broad Street in Center City is moving forward with a $70 million renovation to the telecom building. Amerimar Enterprises and its partners bought the property in March and are hopeful the multi-phased, multifaceted improvements planned for the building will help entice new tenants to fill up its empty space. 

The building is considered one of the most important mission critical data centers along the East Coast. The renovations aim to position the building to truly realize its full potential.

The first phase of work will entail overhauling many of the building’s mechanical systems and its security and creating new shaftways from decommissioned elevators.

The shaftways will be used to house cabling. Work will also be done to the facade.

In addition, a 20,000-square-foot “meet-me” room will be constructed. This is space within a telecom hotel where different networks can connect with each other. It will be carrier neutral and owned by partners.

Work will also entail preparing the vacant space with the necessary equipment and other gear that telecom tenants need. The types of tenants that might be interested this data center space is vast.

About 300,000 square feet of the 11-story, 1.3-million-square-foot building is empty. The vacancy came about when some of its non-data related tenants vacated.

Tenants can come from a range of industries including financial, cloud and information technology services, manufacturing, health care, universities and other institutions.

Aside from housing Internet data and data communications, data centers are used for disaster recovery purposes, processing transactions and even housing corporate IT operations.

Friday, December 5, 2014

THE YEAR IN REVIEW: # 4 STORY FROM 2014

380-Foot Glass Tower Planned for City’s Most Historic Neighborhood
Scannapieco Development has announced plans to build a $150 million condominium tower being described as “modern elegance” and “at the crossroads of history” at Fifth and Walnut Streets in the Philadelphia Historic District. The 26-story building will house 40 ultra-luxury residences which will overlook Independence Hall.

Two-story penthouses in the 380-foot tower will feature private elevators, multiple balconies and fireplaces, with asking prices in the $12- $15 million range. Construction will begin in spring 2015, and anticipated to be ready for occupancy in spring 2017.

500 Walnut will be an ultra-luxe residential tower located in the Society Hill neighborhood facing Independence National Historic Park.

Forty residences starting at 2,500 square feet will include 14 private, full-floor 4,200 square foot units that will be fully customizable with expansive balconies, true floor-to-ceiling windows, fireplaces, private elevator access, 11 foot ceilings and some of the most spectacular views ever offered in a center city high rise.

In addition to full-floor units, the tower will include two penthouses that take up multiple stories with more than 8,400 square feet and features such as private interior elevators, multiple balconies and fireplaces. These units are expected to be listed in $12- $15 million range.

The 26-story glass “needle” tower is designed by renowned architect, Cecil Baker, and will bring innovative and thoughtful design to the neighborhood in which it resides.

Its structure will not compete with the iconic historic architecture and is angled in a way that will never interfere with an onlookers view from the Liberty Bell to Independence Hall.

Tom Scannapieco has gained a reputation of being a developer that truly understands the ultra-high-end market, since his success with the highly-acclaimed luxury tower at 1706 Rittenhouse Square.
 
The developer expects the new tower to be Philadelphia most innovative luxury concept to date.

The amenity-rich building will offer everything from a multi-level glass enclosed two story fitness center with a yoga room, massage room and steam room to a large outdoor terrace overlooking National Historic Park. It will also boast an underground fully automated parking system for over 80 cars that automatically stores and retrieves vehicles in less than 90 seconds.

Perhaps the best amenity at the new building, however, will be the view of Independence Hall. “It’s a real strength for this building,” Scannapieco says, “looking right at history.”

Construction on 500 Walnut will begin this spring, and already has 16 reservations. The building has a target opening date in the spring of 2017.

Monday, November 17, 2014

380-Foot Glass Tower Planned for City’s Most Historic Neighborhood

Scannapieco Development has announced plans to build a $150 million condominium tower being described as “modern elegance” and “at the crossroads of history” at Fifth and Walnut Streets in the Philadelphia Historic District. The 26-story building will house 40 ultra-luxury residences which will overlook Independence Hall.

Two-story penthouses in the 380-foot tower will feature private elevators, multiple balconies and fireplaces, with asking prices in the $12- $15 million range. Construction will begin in spring 2015, and anticipated to be ready for occupancy in spring 2017.

500 Walnut will be an ultra-luxe residential tower located in the Society Hill neighborhood facing Independence National Historic Park.

Forty residences starting at 2,500 square feet will include 14 private, full-floor 4,200 square foot units that will be fully customizable with expansive balconies, true floor-to-ceiling windows, fireplaces, private elevator access, 11 foot ceilings and some of the most spectacular views ever offered in a center city high rise.

In addition to full-floor units, the tower will include two penthouses that take up multiple stories with more than 8,400 square feet and features such as private interior elevators, multiple balconies and fireplaces. These units are expected to be listed in $12- $15 million range.

The 26-story glass “needle” tower is designed by renowned architect, Cecil Baker, and will bring innovative and thoughtful design to the neighborhood in which it resides.

Its structure will not compete with the iconic historic architecture and is angled in a way that will never interfere with an onlookers view from the Liberty Bell to Independence Hall.

Tom Scannapieco has gained a reputation of being a developer that truly understands the ultra-high-end market, since his success with the highly-acclaimed luxury tower at 1706 Rittenhouse Square.
 
The developer expects the new tower to be Philadelphia most innovative luxury concept to date.

The amenity-rich building will offer everything from a multi-level glass enclosed two story fitness center with a yoga room, massage room and steam room to a large outdoor terrace overlooking National Historic Park. It will also boast an underground fully automated parking system for over 80 cars that automatically stores and retrieves vehicles in less than 90 seconds.

Perhaps the best amenity at the new building, however, will be the view of Independence Hall. “It’s a real strength for this building,” Scannapieco says, “looking right at history.”

Construction on 500 Walnut will begin this spring, and already has 16 reservations. The building has a target opening date in the spring of 2017.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Accountant Embezzled $1.6 Million from Electrical Supply House

Over a period of seven years, an accountant allegedly embezzled $1.6 million from a branch of Electrical Wholesalers in Connecticut. Gail Zolla turned herself in to police after learning of a warrant for her arrest. Investigators allege that the former employee wrote 470 checks to a fake company and deposited the funds into her personal bank accounts. Ms. Zolla was charged with one count of first-degree larceny and 327 counts of second-degree forgery and is being held on $250,000 bond.

A former accountant for a Connecticut-based electrical supply company was charged Wednesday with embezzling $1.6 million over seven years.

Gale Zolla was charged with first-degree larceny and second-degree forgery. Police said the forgery counts relate to checks she wrote to a fictitious company and deposited into her personal accounts.

Police said that on February 15, Zolla went to police precinct and told officers she had embezzled money from her employer, U.S. Electrical Services Inc., which is the parent company of Electrical Wholesalers.

The case was turned over to detectives and inspectors in the state's attorney's office, who began investigating.

Zolla initially told police she'd stolen $800,000 from the company, but as the company audited its accounts it determined the loss was actually $1.66 million.

The former accountant told police she believed her boss was beginning to suspect she was stealing and that prompted her February visit to Bristol police.

Police said their investigation showed that she wrote herself 470 checks during the time she worked at Electrical Wholesalers, and that she wrote the last check on February 15, the same day she went to police to turn herself in.

Police obtained search warrants for her home and bank accounts and said most of the money appears to be gone. Zolla told police she spent about $100,000 on landscaping at her home and the rest of the money on vacations, vehicles and other household expenses.

She also covered some of the expenses of her wedding with the stolen funds, according to the warrant. Bank records "indicate she spent money on vacations, restaurants, furniture and many shopping sprees."

Police also learned that Zolla used about $12,500 in stolen funds to pay down her credit cards just prior to going to police headquarters to confess. She cashed an allegedly forged check for $5,000 the day she went to police and another for $6,264 just after, according to the warrant.

What prompted Zolla to go to police to confess appears to be the efforts of a co-worker at U.S. Electrical Services, Linda Culop, to reconcile several accounts. One account was short about $750,000 for 2012 and 2013. Culop, a senior accountant, asked Zolla about the discrepancy and Zolla said she'd look into it.

Over the next several weeks, Culop continued to ask Zolla about the discrepancies, but did not get an answer. She then went to the company's chief financial officer, Robert Canyock, and another employee to show them the problem.

Culop told police that on February 14 she sat down with Zolla and another employee to investigate the shortfall, according to the warrant. Zolla said she was stepping away to get more detail, and then left work. Zolla went to police the next day.

As U.S. Electrical Services accountants further examined the records, they determined that the company's loss totaled $1.66 million and all of the checks had been cut by Zolla to the fictitious company.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

29-Story Luxury Apartment Tower to Rise at 1919 Market Street

Another high-rise luxury apartment tower is about to begin Center City, at 1919 Market Street, on the corner of 20th & Market Streets. The new 455,000-square-foot mixed-use building will stand next to the Independence Blue Cross Tower in the middle of Center City’s largest and tallest office corridor. This tower will be 29-stories high and comprised of 321 luxury apartment units, with ground floor retail and a five-story parking garage for 215 vehicles. The project has a target completion date of spring 2016.

The corner of 20th and Market Street will soon be looking at lot different.

Brandywine Realty Trust, which was named Developer of the Year by Development Magazine, is teaming up with Berwyn-based real estate company LCOR to construct a new 29-story mixed-use tower at 1919 Market Street in Center City.

Hunter Roberts Construction will manage the process of building the 455,000-square-foot tower, which was designed by Barton Partners.

There will be twelve units per floor, above the fourth floor, except for the top three floors, which will have larger penthouses on the 26th & 27th floors and an amenities floor on the very top. The apartments will range from studios to two bedrooms, and the corner units will have large balconies.

Here are the details:
- 321 luxury apartments
- 24,000 square feet of office space for Blue Cross
- Five-Story parking garage for 215 cars
- Ground-floor retail space for CVS pharmacy
- Full concierge service
- Fitness center
- Rooftop ledge pool
- Outdoor roof garden with fire pit
- Game room with golf simulator
- Target completion date: spring 2016.
Except for the lobby, the entire first floor will have retail space, and the second floor will have office space. The commercial space will total approximately 25,000 square feet on both floors.  The third and fourth floors will have two-level loft apartments facing Market Street. 

The tower will have dark have multi-colored glass window panels. The glass panels will have a random pattern and come in four colors: blue, green, light gray, and silver.

A parking structure will rise five stories on the north side of the property at Commerce Street, and will accommodate 215 parking spaces.  The parking garage will also have 108 bike storage spaces and retail space on 20th Street.

The developers hope to obtain LEED Silver certification for the tower, with features such as Energy Star appliances, low-flow showers, energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems, and storm water management.

Construction on the shiny 367 feet tall building is expected to begin immediately.
  

Monday, November 3, 2014

New! Lighting Control for the Digital Age

Touch the Future of Lighting Control with GRAFIK T™ from Lutron 
Introducing an exciting new lighting control solution for the digital age that marries advanced Lutron touch dimming technology with intuitive, minimalist design. GRAFIK T reinvents the way we interact with lighting controls: one simple touch or slide-of-a-finger on the LED light bar sets the lighting level. GRAFIK T is ideal for residential and commercial dimming applications. From simple standalone control to whole-home or building lighting control systems, GRAFIK T offers a solution for any light source.

Lighting control is effortless – and smart – with GRAFIK T innovative software and electronics. Lutron’s reliable Clear Connect® wireless technology provides the convenience of remote controls, and lets you connect GRAFIK T to Lutron’s wireless occupancy and daylight sensors.

Technological advances in GRAFIK T circuitry now make it possible to use elegant metal faceplates while maintaining wireless capability. In addition, patented C•L® dimming technology ensures GRAFIK T lighting controls are compatible with next-generation, energy-efficient bulbs, easing the transition to new lighting sources for residential and commercial users alike.

GRAFIK T lighting controls will also be available as a member of Lutron’s advanced lighting control system families, HomeWorks® QS and RadioRA® 2. In these systems, customers can control all light sources, including linear, recessed, and pendant LED fixtures.

GRAFIK T is the first architecturally designed dimmer to bring fashionable lighting control to the connected home market. Its aesthetic is elegant and timeless, featuring a faceplate that appears to float off the wall and a slightly raised LED bar that is responsive to the lightest touch and slightest motion. 

It is easy and intuitive to control lighting levels: all that’s required to raise or lower the lights is a soft touch on the LED light bar – no knobs to turn, buttons to press, or sliders to adjust.

Backed by Lutron quality, GRAFIK T is a modern design classic that brings together great looks and smart technology for a seamless user experience.

Contact your local Lutron representative for more information or visit www.lutron.com/grafikt

> Click here to Download Brochure
 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Museum of the American Revolution Breaks Ground

Concrete is flowing and things are progressing nicely toward completion of the Museum of the American Revolution in Old City, Philadelphia. Last week, an array of politicians and benefactors gathered beneath a vast party tent beside a very deep hole along South Third Street to celebrate the symbolic groundbreaking and the start of construction on the $119 million project.

The 118,000-square-foot museum, designed by noted architect Robert A.M. Stern, is being built by Intech Construction.

Museum president and chief executive, Michael Quinn, says that construction had been fully funded and the grand opening is set for late 2016 or early 2017.

“We are on schedule with construction,” he said. “The Visitor Center on the site has been completely demolished, and we’re continuing to remove the foundations and are finishing up the archeological work as well.”

Archeology was necessary because the building will be at 3rd and Chestnut, deep in Colonial Philadelphia.

When the deep hole is filled and the $119 million building opens in two years, it will be, officials believe, the nation's first museum to tell the whole story of the American Revolution - from the disgruntled grumbling over British taxes in the 1760s through the desperate days of the Continental Army in the 1770s and on to eventual independence in the 1780s.


To see more on the museum project, check out the museum’s website, webcam, and Tumblr page.
   

Thursday, October 30, 2014

DeWALT Commences Cordless Tool Production in the USA

www.toolsofthebrave.comLeading Toolmaker Ramps up Production in Carolinas for Power Tools to Be Built in America.   


Continuing its commitment to build America, DeWALT, a leading manufacturer of high-quality industrial power tools, is proud to expand its product offerings built in the USA using global materials to include more than 600 different cordless power tools, hand tools and accessories.

Given a choice between a product made in the United States and an identical one made abroad, 78 percent of Americans would rather buy the American product, according to a 2013 survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

“Our users are professional contractors and builders themselves. When given the option, most prefer to spend their money on a product that is built in the USA because it’s in line with what they do on a daily basis—building America,” said Frank Mannarino, president of DeWALT Professional Tools. “There’s a great deal of pride that goes into making things at home—we’re thrilled to bring some jobs back to the US and reconnect with our users.”

DeWALT began production of its first line of American-built cordless power tools in its Charlotte Manufacturing Operations facility in early October, using global materials, which will be fully up and running in November. The 75,000-square-foot facility straddles the border of the Carolinas. DeWALT’s investment in the revamped facility will help boost the local economy and create more than 250 new jobs.

The facility will allow DeWALT to deliver products with greater efficiency, while keeping the same Guaranteed Tough quality customers have come to know and expect from the brand. The new line of products built in the USA with global materials includes 32 different hand tools, 48 power tool products and 562 types of accessories.

The impact of DeWALT’s products that are built in the USA with global materials will be felt beyond the Carolinas. The brand has committed to donating a minimum of $250,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project from a portion of the sales of these products. Additionally, this year alone DeWALT has committed to hiring more than 100 veterans.

“DeWALT is a global brand with American roots,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president of retail operations. “We are committed to rebuilding the American economy through job creation for those who continue to build our country—US Veterans—and through our participation with the Wounded Warrior Project. Our goal is for the impact of our products that are built in the USA with materials from around the globe to be felt beyond the Charlotte Manufacturing Operations facility.”

For more information on DeWALT’s initiative to build products in the USA using global materials, and to view a full list of product offerings, visit www.toolsofthebrave.com.

For more information, visit www.dewalt.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Massive $660M Delaware Riverfront Apartment Complex

A massive 2.5 million square foot development project will be built on a vacant, 5.3-acre site along the Delaware River waterfront. The Philadelphia City Planning Commission approved Waterfront Renaissance Associates’ $660 million plan to build Renaissance Plaza at the corner of Callowhill Street and Columbus Boulevard. Construction of four mixed-use towers will kick off by the summer of 2015 and will be divided into four phases, with one tower completed in each development stage.  

Combined, the four glass and metal high-rises will comprise 1,411 market-rate apartments and 70,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The complex will also include two sport centers, several bars and restaurants and an enclosed parking garage with 500 spaces.

Renaissance Plaza is being developed by Waterfront Renaissance Associates, along with its affiliate Carl Marks & Co., the New York investment firm that pieced together four tracts that make up the plot about three decades ago.

The $660 million development will consist of four buildings that range in height from 21 to 31 stories. The tallest tower will reach 240 feet into the sky, a significant change from the original proposed height of 480 feet. The project will also include a green roof, and will seek LEED Gold Status

Building the first phase would take about 16 months, with each phase of development comprising about 360 apartments. Plans also include 16 townhouses, nearly 70,000 square feet of retail space, and 653 parking spaces along with more than an acre of landscaped public plazas.

A swath of landscaped public space would run through the property, which the developer believes will draw people from the neighborhoods through the property, and down to the river.  Some roofs would offer additional green space.

Since the complex will be built on the west side of Delaware Avenue, not the river side, the developer will pay for a crossing signal to get people to the river itself, and will make improvements between the project and the Spring Garden transit stop.

Soil conditions at the site require piles to support the buildings - 700 are required. They will be drilled, not driven, because of sewer infrastructure.

The project is within the area covered by the newly adopted Central Delaware Overlay, which sets a height limit of 100 feet, but allows developers to earn height bonuses up by providing public amenities.

A developer who maxed out the public amenities – which include building a section of waterfront trail, building to LEED environmental standards, making transit improvement and providing public green space – can build up to 244 feet.

The site along the Delaware River waterfront had many bold ambitions that never came to fruition.

The site had been known for the last 15 years as the future address of the Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center.

That development would have entailed more than 3 million square feet of space consisting of a residential tower and three office buildings, parking for more than 2,000 vehicles and 118,000 square feet of retail space. That never happened.

Last fall, Waterfront Renaissance Associates, made a leap across the river and decided it would move the Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center project to Camden, New Jersey, where the developer has proposed building a 2.3-million-square-foot campus on 16 acres at the former Riverfront State Prison.
  

Monday, October 6, 2014

La Salle University Constructing New $35M Business School

La Salle University announced it will construct a new 87,000-square-foot facility for its school of business at the intersection of Wister and Chew avenues in Northwest Philadelphia.  A 300-seat auditorium, a sales training laboratory and corporate-style boardroom are among some of the building’s features. The University held a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 16, 2014 at the building site. 
 
The $35 million project will create approximately 600 construction jobs. The six-story structure is expected to be completed in January 2016.

The University announced last November that it planned to construct a state-of-the-art facility to house its School of Business.

The new building has been designed to include amenities and spaces that facilitate the collaborative learning, networking, and teamwork necessary in today’s business world.

“This is one of the most significant projects that La Salle has undertaken in its 151-year history,” said William Sautter, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Highlights of the new $35 million School of Business building:
  • six-story 87,000 square foot facility
  • A large atrium space that can be used to host networking and social events
  • A completely wireless infrastructure that will allow students to interact in real time with other students and executives from around the world
  • A 300-seat auditorium that can be used to host symposia and conferences
  • Flexible collaborative learning rooms that will reinforce student / faculty and student / business executive interaction
  • An array of computer classrooms and simulation facilities
  • Video conferencing capabilities throughout the building
  • A sales training laboratory
  • A corporate-style boardroom

The 87,000-square-foot building will be located on the University’s West Campus and will extend the University’s frontage from Olney to Chew Avenue. The project will also have a positive impact on the community, creating approximately 600 jobs during construction.

The School of Business facility’s state-of-the-art amenities will include a dramatic atrium space that can be used to host networking and social events; a sales training laboratory and simulation facilities; a corporate-style boardroom; a 300-seat auditorium, and flexible collaborative learning rooms, gathering spaces, and technology-equipped breakout rooms that will reinforce interactions among students, faculty, and business executives.

The facility is scheduled to open for classes in January 2016. The project is being funded with $20 million from the University and $15 million in alumni donations.

La Salle’s School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a designation held by less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide. La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de LaSalle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. LaSalle founded in 1680.  LaSalle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values.


Monday, September 29, 2014

$500M East Market Redevelopment to Get Underway Oct 2

An entire city block bound by Market, Chestnut, 11th and 12th streets will soon be transformed into a retail-residential development. The project, called East Market, will encompass 4.3-acres and cost approximately $500 million to build. The $230 million first phase of East Market will include demolition of the existing building fronting Market Street, followed by construction of a 17-story tower totaling 650,000 square feet. 
  
An official ground breaking to mark the beginning of demolition and construction of the project is scheduled for Thursday, October 2nd. 

Lt. Governor Jim Cawley and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter are expected to be on hand for the ceremony.

The initial structure will include 160,000 square feet of retail space on two levels, topped by a 325-unit apartment building.

Phase I will also renovate the 200,000-square-foot family court building into retail and office space.

"We're going to have grocers, we're going to have restaurants, entertainment, fashion," said Jeff Kanne, CEO of National Real Estate Advisors, the $2.2 billion-asset, Washington-based firm backing the project.

The project will be built with 100% union labor, including IBEW electricians. The development team was glad to note that union crews delivered the NREA-backed tower at 2116 Chestnut Street ahead of schedule.
The $500 million-plus project is aimed at upgrading Philadelphia's worn downtown retail district and spreading Center City's apartment revival east of Broad Street.

NREA counts the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and other labor unions among its investors.

Planned are new store buildings facing Market Street, lit by Times Square-style signs, that will be topped by 325 apartments - at $2,300 a month for a one-bedroom unit - with underground parking.

The builders will strip and replace the outside walls of the eight-story former Snellenburg warehouse facing 11th Street, now used by the city's Family Court. The developers are talking to office tenants, but could end up putting more apartments there.

Retail stores are planned for the first floor of the nearby 12-story Girard office building, with the upper floors upgraded for office, hotel, or apartments, depending on market demand.

"We're going to make Market Street cool again," said Daniel Killinger, director at NREA Development Services.

If the initial space sells well, the group plans to replace buildings in the 1100 block of Chestnut Street with new stores and apartments - bringing the residential count for the entire project to as many as 1,000 units.

Monday, September 22, 2014

PA’s Highest Residential Tower to Rise on South Broad St

A sleek 47-story hotel/condo tower planned for the corner of South Broad & Spruce streets has been approved by the Civic Design Review Committee. The SLS International Hotel and Residences will soar 590 feet and will house 125 luxury condo units, 150 hotel rooms, an Olympic sized swimming pool, a restaurant and retail space. The $200 million building will be Pennsylvania’s tallest residential structure, and its units will be among its most expensive. Construction is expected to take about two years to complete.

Dranoff Properties is clear to begin construction of SLS International Hotel and Residences - a 47-story, 590-foot tower with 125 condos and 150 hotel rooms at Broad and Spruce streets, across the street from the Kimmel Center.

There are currently two buildings on the site. These will be torn down, but first asbestos must be removed.

Remediation will begin in late fall or early winter, with demolition to follow and construction to begin as soon as the site is clear.

The new building will be designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, architects of the world's highest hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.

Project details:
  • 47 stories and 590 feet tall
  • Approximately 423,000 square feet
  • 162 five-star hotel rooms
  • 125 luxury condos, ranging from one-bedroom units to penthouses
  • The hotel and condos units will have separate lobbies
  • Ground-floor retail stores
  • 6,000-square-foot, double-height glass ballroom on the fifth-floor
  • Olympic sized swimming pool, fitness center and spa
  • A ground-floor corner bar and restaurant
  • Target groundbreaking: next fall
  • Construction time: two years
  • Cost: more than $200 million
  • Total parking spots: 233
  • One level of underground parking; three levels above-grade
  • The garage will be limited to residents and hotel-uses, and all parking will be by valet.

The compelling 47-story tower is intended to act as a catalyst for the future of development to the south of Center City, said architect Gene Kohn.

Developer, Carl Dranoff, says the building will be the Pennsylvania’s “tallest structure built for residential use.“

The 590-foot tower will be taller than the William Penn statue on top of City Hall, and its units will be among the City’s most expensive.

Construction will require the demolition 301-309 South Broad Street, the longtime home of Philadelphia International Records. The building suffered significant fire damage in 2010.

The name, SLS International, is a nod to Philadelphia International – which was famous for the “Philadelphia Sound,” showcased in the recordings of artists such as The Three Degrees, Teddy Pendergass, and The O’Jays.

311 South Broad will also be demolished, and the University of the Arts lot at 313 South Broad Street will be taken and used as a loading dock.

The SLS International Hotel and Residences will be one of Philly's most upscale properties once complete. Not only will it be the tallest building on Broad Street, it will also house an Olympic sized swimming pool, a spa and boast the highest penthouses in the city.

The project calls for condos from floors 20 to 47, hotel rooms on lower floors, and amenities including restaurants, a gym, swimming pool and a spa near street level.

The new building will feature stone at the base, but will be primarily made of metal and glass. The glass will have a high-performance coating, and the metal will be covered with a bright metallic paint.
  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

La Salle University Constructing New $35M Business School

La Salle University announced it will construct a new 87,000-square-foot facility for its school of business at the intersection of Wister and Chew avenues in Northwest Philadelphia.  A 300-seat auditorium, a sales training laboratory and corporate-style boardroom are among some of the building’s features. The University held a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 16, 2014 at the building site. 
 
The $35 million project will create approximately 600 construction jobs. The six-story structure is expected to be completed in January 2016.

The University announced last November that it planned to construct a state-of-the-art facility to house its School of Business.

The new building has been designed to include amenities and spaces that facilitate the collaborative learning, networking, and teamwork necessary in today’s business world.

“This is one of the most significant projects that La Salle has undertaken in its 151-year history,” said William Sautter, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Highlights of the new $35 million School of Business building:
  • six-story 87,000 square foot facility
  • A large atrium space that can be used to host networking and social events
  • A completely wireless infrastructure that will allow students to interact in real time with other students and executives from around the world
  • A 300-seat auditorium that can be used to host symposia and conferences
  • Flexible collaborative learning rooms that will reinforce student / faculty and student / business executive interaction
  • An array of computer classrooms and simulation facilities
  • Video conferencing capabilities throughout the building
  • A sales training laboratory
  • A corporate-style boardroom

The 87,000-square-foot building will be located on the University’s West Campus and will extend the University’s frontage from Olney to Chew Avenue. The project will also have a positive impact on the community, creating approximately 600 jobs during construction.

The School of Business facility’s state-of-the-art amenities will include a dramatic atrium space that can be used to host networking and social events; a sales training laboratory and simulation facilities; a corporate-style boardroom; a 300-seat auditorium, and flexible collaborative learning rooms, gathering spaces, and technology-equipped breakout rooms that will reinforce interactions among students, faculty, and business executives.

The facility is scheduled to open for classes in January 2016. The project is being funded with $20 million from the University and $15 million in alumni donations.

La Salle’s School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a designation held by less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide. La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de LaSalle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. LaSalle founded in 1680.  LaSalle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Gensler Selected to Design Interiors of New $1.2B Comcast Tower

Architectural firm Gensler has been selected to design the interiors of the new 59-story Comcast Innovation and Technology Center presently under construction at 18th and Arch streets. The 1,121-foot-tall skyscraper will be the tallest building in the country outside of New York or Chicago, and will house television stations, a Four Seasons hotel, and various office space.  The massive $1.2 billion project is expected to be completed by early 2018 and will create about 6,300 construction-related jobs.

The goal is to create a “functional, aesthetic, sustainable and progressive interior environment that will effectively integrate with the architectural design of the building,” the firm said in a statement.

At 1,121-feet, the new tower will conquer the Philadelphia skyline. According to Comcast, it will also be the largest private development project in Pennsylvania’s history.

Gensler will collaborate with Foster + Partners, which designed the 1,121-foot-tall structure.

The dazzling new skyscraper will house the NBC10 and Telemundo television stations, a workspace for Comcast's engineers, technologists, and software architects, and space for tech startups.

The building's adventurous architecture will be a public statement of the company's evolution from a low-tech cable-TV provider to a technology developer with video streaming, Internet products, and mobile apps.

The new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center on Arch Street between 18th and 19th Streets in Center City will be a neighbor to Comcast Center, the corporation’s current global headquarters, topping that building’s height by 150 feet.

In addition, the Suburban Station concourse will be extended a block to the west beneath 18th Street.

The 59-story structure will have about 1.5 million square feet of rentable space.

Comcast is partnering with Malvern, Pennsylvania-based Liberty Property Trust to develop the glass and stainless steel tower, which will include a Four Seasons hotel on the top 13 floors (which Gensler will not be designing), and 2,700 square feet of retail space.
  

Monday, August 25, 2014

$140M Rodin Square Project to Break Ground

Developers hope to break ground on the huge Rodin Square mixed-use complex in Philadelphia’s Art Museum district by early September. The 651,000 square foot development at 22nd and Spring Garden Street will include a 60,000 square foot Whole Foods topped by a 35,000 square foot “Sky Park”, featuring a beautifully landscaped green roof with an infinity swimming pool, a grill and bar area, outdoor dining overlooking the Ben Franklin Parkway.

A nine-story residential building, called The Dalian on Fairmout, will be built above the market and include 293-unit luxury apartments with an incredible view of the city skyline.

Designed by Jim Volsky of MV+A Architects, The Dalian will also feature a second-level 12,000-square-foot glass lobby.

Rodin Square will be located at 501 N. 22nd Street - walking distance from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation and Fairmount Park.

Construction of the mixed-use complex will replace a Best Western hotel that is currently on the site.

The development will include almost 500 parking spaces, with one level of below-grade parking to serve the retail component.

The residential units will be served by an multistory above-grade parking structure, screened from the street.

"It's a great project in Philadelphia. It's going to be the next premier apartment building," said Will Simpson, an associate at Federal Capital Partners. “This is going to be a very highly-amenitized, first-class luxury apartment building."

The price tag for the project is estimated at $140 million, with construction expected to be complete by winter 2016.

Neal Rodin is the project’s developer, and INTECH Construction of Philadelphia is providing the construction management.



Friday, August 22, 2014

101 Years Old and Still on the Job at Capitol Lighting

Talk about company loyalty. Statistics show most people change jobs a many as nine or 10 times during the course of their lifetimes before retiring. Hy Goldman is not of that camp. He has been working for the same company, Capitol Lighting, for the past 73 years - since June 1, 1941 when he was 28 years old, to be exact. And even though the World War II Army veteran lives in a senior housing community, he has no plans on retiring anytime soon despite the fact he recently celebrated his 101st birthday.

The family owned Capitol Lighting recently held a birthday bash for Goldman at its Route 10 East Hanover store complete with cake and ice cream.

Goldman is an artist of sorts. For the past 12 years he has been working at the East Hanover store where he has his own workshop he calls his “studio” on the second-floor.

Goldman takes broken and discarded electrical lighting fixtures and refurbishes them, adding wiring to many, finding blades for ceiling fans or adding new glass globes to transform old lighting fixtures into something brand new to sell in the clearance section.

So, why does he do it, why is he still working when just about everybody else lucky enough reach age 101 would have retired decades earlier?

“It’s the challenge,” he said. “It keeps me mentally going and my body still moving.”

He was hired at the original Capital Lighting Store on Springfield Avenue in Newark in 1941 by Ethel Lebersfeld, who co-founded Capitol Lighting in 1924 along with her husband Max Lebersfeld, an electrical contractor and immigrant from Austria-Hungary. The family-owned business is now under the direction of a fourth generation of Lebersfelds.

Goldman was working for Capital when he was drafted into the Army in 1943, two years after being hired. He came out of the Army in 1946 and rejoined Capitol.

“In those days we did everything,” Goldman said.

“There was no technology. We swept the floors and sold merchandise and set up displays. We unloaded trucks. We knew what inventory we had in our store by memory. Today you look it up on a computer.”

Ethel Lebersfeld was the grandmother of current Capitol Lighting Co-Chairmen Max and Herman Lebersfeld.

“I can remember the 1950s coming in when I was 10 and 11 and playing with the cash registers,” said Max Lebersfeld, who was on hand at the East Hanover store for the birthday celebration. “Hy was a fixture then.”

Goldman saw the growth of the company from the one store to its current status of four New Jersey stores and two in Florida.

Meanwhile, Hy Goldman, still comes to work four day a week, and still drives his car as he does so.

“What am I going to do, sit around and grow old?” Goldman wanted to know.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Massive $660M Delaware Riverfront Apartment Complex

A massive 2.5 million square foot development project will be built on a vacant, 5.3-acre site along the Delaware River waterfront. The Philadelphia City Planning Commission approved Waterfront Renaissance Associates’ $660 million plan to build Renaissance Plaza at the corner of Callowhill Street and Columbus Boulevard. Construction of four mixed-use towers will kick off by the summer of 2015 and will be divided into four phases, with one tower completed in each development stage.  

Combined, the four glass and metal high-rises will comprise 1,411 market-rate apartments and 70,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The complex will also include two sport centers, several bars and restaurants and an enclosed parking garage with 500 spaces.

Renaissance Plaza is being developed by Waterfront Renaissance Associates, along with its affiliate Carl Marks & Co., the New York investment firm that pieced together four tracts that make up the plot about three decades ago.

The $660 million development will consist of four buildings that range in height from 21 to 31 stories. The tallest tower will reach 240 feet into the sky, a significant change from the original proposed height of 480 feet. The project will also include a green roof, and will seek LEED Gold Status

Building the first phase would take about 16 months, with each phase of development comprising about 360 apartments. Plans also include 16 townhouses, nearly 70,000 square feet of retail space, and 653 parking spaces along with more than an acre of landscaped public plazas.

A swath of landscaped public space would run through the property, which the developer believes will draw people from the neighborhoods through the property, and down to the river.  Some roofs would offer additional green space.

Since the complex will be built on the west side of Delaware Avenue, not the river side, the developer will pay for a crossing signal to get people to the river itself, and will make improvements between the project and the Spring Garden transit stop.

Soil conditions at the site require piles to support the buildings - 700 are required. They will be drilled, not driven, because of sewer infrastructure.

The project is within the area covered by the newly adopted Central Delaware Overlay, which sets a height limit of 100 feet, but allows developers to earn height bonuses up by providing public amenities.

A developer who maxed out the public amenities – which include building a section of waterfront trail, building to LEED environmental standards, making transit improvement and providing public green space – can build up to 244 feet.

The site along the Delaware River waterfront had many bold ambitions that never came to fruition.

The site had been known for the last 15 years as the future address of the Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center.

That development would have entailed more than 3 million square feet of space consisting of a residential tower and three office buildings, parking for more than 2,000 vehicles and 118,000 square feet of retail space. That never happened.

Last fall, Waterfront Renaissance Associates, made a leap across the river and decided it would move the Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center project to Camden, New Jersey, where the developer has proposed building a 2.3-million-square-foot campus on 16 acres at the former Riverfront State Prison.
  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

10-Story ‘Study Hotel’ to Rise in University City

Drexel University plans to construct a 212-room Study Hotel on the northwest corner of 33rd and Chestnut streets, where the James E. Marks Intercultural Center is now located. The 10-story hotel will total 145,000 square feet and include a 105-seat restaurant and bar, 7,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The project is a short walk from 30th Street Station and is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

The hotel is being developed by Drexel University in partnership with Hospitality 3 and will be operated by its subsidiary, Study Hotels. The mantra for their hotels is "Read, Rest, Reflect."

The concept caters to college and university markets and will simply be called “The Study at University City”.  The project is being designed by Philadelphia-based DIGSAU Architecture. 

This is the second Study Hotel to be built, after a successful one in New Haven, Conn., known as The Study at Yale, which has become an integral part of the university.

Rates for the Study at Yale start at $219 per night for a Double Room and go to $359 for a King Study.

The first floor will have a 105-seat restaurant, which adds to the other restaurants that opened across Chestnut Street in the Chestnut Square student housing development surrounding Drexel’s student center. 
The hotel will have 212 rooms for university-related guests and 7,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space. The entire project will consist of 145,000 square feet of space. There will also be 37 off-site parking spaces.

Across Chestnut Street is the new Hill Field College House, being built by the University of Pennsylvania, and across 33rd Street is the new Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building. 

A few blocks away, apartments are under construction at 3601 Market Street; the Evo at Cira Center South is under construction a few blocks to the east on Chestnut Street; and the 38Chestnut residential project is underway a few blocks to the west. 

So ‘The Study at University City’ makes for a nice addition to this growing neighborhood where hotel rooms are limited.

When asked about how the hotel will specifically impact students, Drexel Vice President James Tucker replied: “First and foremost, parents and families from out of town will have the option to stay in world-class accommodations right on Drexel’s campus when they visit students during orientation, commencement, move-in and move-out, and other milestone events throughout the year.”

The project is part of the Drexel University Institutional Master Plan, and is scheduled to be completed by 2016.
 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ground Broken on $164M SugarHouse Casino Expansion

SugarHouse Casino has broken ground on a $164 million expansion, a move that is expected to create more than 700 construction jobs over two years, as well as 500 permanent jobs and millions in economic impact. The casino will more than double in size, from 106,000 square feet to approximately 250,000 square feet. The expansion includes a multipurpose event space with new restaurants, a parking garage and a $2.9 million, dedicated 30-table poker room.

The project will include construction of a seven-story garage at the new West Entrance with direct access to the gaming floor and more than 500 parking spaces, as well as 2,250 feet of landscaped waterfront access with a bike path connecting to the Penn Street Trail.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place at the expansion's future home north of the current facility, along North Delaware Avenue. City officials and community leaders joined executives from SugarHouse at the event.

"This is a game changer," said SugarHouse general manager Wendy Hamilton.

“The expansion will allow the casino to expand beyond a two-dimensional experience, focusing on amenities, such as restaurants, 30,000 square feet of event space and a large poker room.”

The project includes construction of an event space, with a view of the Delaware River; space for up to four new waterfront restaurants with outdoor dining terraces; and a $2.9 million, dedicated 30-table poker room.

The poker room, itself, is projected to generate an estimated $1.8 million in taxes to the city and state, and create 100 jobs (80 of which will be poker dealers).

Once the expansion is complete, approximately 500 permanent full- and part-time jobs will be generated, in addition to the 1,600 construction jobs generated throughout the expansion process.

The new facility will also result in an annual contribution of $1 million to the Penn Treaty Special Services District for economic development in Fishtown and surrounding neighborhoods

New construction will include reserved space for a second story-ballroom, with riverfront views, which is planned for a later phase.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

$140M Rodin Square Project to Break Ground by Labor Day

Developers hope to break ground on the huge Rodin Square mixed-use complex in Philadelphia’s Art Museum district by early September. The 651,000 square foot development at 22nd and Spring Garden Street will include a 60,000 square foot Whole Foods topped by a 35,000 square foot “Sky Park”, featuring a beautifully landscaped green roof with an infinity swimming pool, a grill and bar area, outdoor dining overlooking the Ben Franklin Parkway.

A nine-story residential building, called The Dalian on Fairmout, will be built above the market and include 293-unit luxury apartments with an incredible view of the city skyline.

Designed by Jim Volsky of MV+A Architects, The Dalian will also feature a second-level 12,000-square-foot glass lobby.

Rodin Square will be located at 501 N. 22nd Street - walking distance from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation and Fairmount Park.

Construction of the mixed-use complex will replace a Best Western hotel that is currently on the site.

The development will include almost 500 parking spaces, with one level of below-grade parking to serve the retail component.

The residential units will be served by an multistory above-grade parking structure, screened from the street.

"It's a great project in Philadelphia. It's going to be the next premier apartment building," said Will Simpson, an associate at Federal Capital Partners. “This is going to be a very highly-amenitized, first-class luxury apartment building."

The price tag for the project is estimated at $140 million, with construction expected to be complete by winter 2016.

Neal Rodin is the project’s developer, and INTECH Construction of Philadelphia is providing the construction management.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Massive $660M Delaware Riverfront Apartment Complex

A massive 2.5 million square foot development project will be built on a vacant, 5.3-acre site along the Delaware River waterfront. The Philadelphia City Planning Commission approved Waterfront Renaissance Associates’ $660 million plan to build Renaissance Plaza at the corner of Callowhill Street and Columbus Boulevard. Construction of four mixed-use towers will kick off by the summer of 2015 and will be divided into four phases, with one tower completed in each development stage.  

Combined, the four glass and metal high-rises will comprise 1,411 market-rate apartments and 70,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The complex will also include two sport centers, several bars and restaurants and an enclosed parking garage with 500 spaces.

Renaissance Plaza is being developed by Waterfront Renaissance Associates, along with its affiliate Carl Marks & Co., the New York investment firm that pieced together four tracts that make up the plot about three decades ago.

The $660 million development will consist of four buildings that range in height from 21 to 31 stories. The tallest tower will reach 240 feet into the sky, a significant change from the original proposed height of 480 feet. The project will also include a green roof, and will seek LEED Gold Status

Building the first phase would take about 16 months, with each phase of development comprising about 360 apartments. Plans also include 16 townhouses, nearly 70,000 square feet of retail space, and 653 parking spaces along with more than an acre of landscaped public plazas.

A swath of landscaped public space would run through the property, which the developer believes will draw people from the neighborhoods through the property, and down to the river.  Some roofs would offer additional green space.

Since the complex will be built on the west side of Delaware Avenue, not the river side, the developer will pay for a crossing signal to get people to the river itself, and will make improvements between the project and the Spring Garden transit stop.

Soil conditions at the site require piles to support the buildings - 700 are required. They will be drilled, not driven, because of sewer infrastructure.

The project is within the area covered by the newly adopted Central Delaware Overlay, which sets a height limit of 100 feet, but allows developers to earn height bonuses up by providing public amenities.

A developer who maxed out the public amenities – which include building a section of waterfront trail, building to LEED environmental standards, making transit improvement and providing public green space – can build up to 244 feet.

The site along the Delaware River waterfront had many bold ambitions that never came to fruition.

The site had been known for the last 15 years as the future address of the Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center.

That development would have entailed more than 3 million square feet of space consisting of a residential tower and three office buildings, parking for more than 2,000 vehicles and 118,000 square feet of retail space. That never happened.

Last fall, Waterfront Renaissance Associates, made a leap across the river and decided it would move the Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center project to Camden, New Jersey, where the developer has proposed building a 2.3-million-square-foot campus on 16 acres at the former Riverfront State Prison.
  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

10-Story ‘Study Hotel’ to Rise in University City

Drexel University plans to construct a 212-room Study Hotel on the northwest corner of 33rd and Chestnut streets, where the James E. Marks Intercultural Center is now located. The 10-story hotel will total 145,000 square feet and include a 105-seat restaurant and bar, 7,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The project is a short walk from 30th Street Station and is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

The hotel is being developed by Drexel University in partnership with Hospitality 3 and will be operated by its subsidiary, Study Hotels. The mantra for their hotels is "Read, Rest, Reflect."

The concept caters to college and university markets and will simply be called “The Study at University City”.  The project is being designed by Philadelphia-based DIGSAU Architecture. 

This is the second Study Hotel to be built, after a successful one in New Haven, Conn., known as The Study at Yale, which has become an integral part of the university.

Rates for the Study at Yale start at $219 per night for a Double Room and go to $359 for a King Study.

The first floor will have a 105-seat restaurant, which adds to the other restaurants that opened across Chestnut Street in the Chestnut Square student housing development surrounding Drexel’s student center. 
The hotel will have 212 rooms for university-related guests and 7,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space. The entire project will consist of 145,000 square feet of space. There will also be 37 off-site parking spaces.

Across Chestnut Street is the new Hill Field College House, being built by the University of Pennsylvania, and across 33rd Street is the new Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building. 

A few blocks away, apartments are under construction at 3601 Market Street; the Evo at Cira Center South is under construction a few blocks to the east on Chestnut Street; and the 38Chestnut residential project is underway a few blocks to the west. 

So ‘The Study at University City’ makes for a nice addition to this growing neighborhood where hotel rooms are limited.

When asked about how the hotel will specifically impact students, Drexel Vice President James Tucker replied: “First and foremost, parents and families from out of town will have the option to stay in world-class accommodations right on Drexel’s campus when they visit students during orientation, commencement, move-in and move-out, and other milestone events throughout the year.”

The project is part of the Drexel University Institutional Master Plan, and is scheduled to be completed by 2016.