Thursday, June 12, 2014

Developer Ready to Break Ground on One Riverside Place

Dranoff Properties is planning to construct a new 167,282-square-foot glass tower in Center City called One Riverside. The Philadelphia developer will build the 22-story residential structure on a parking lot at 25th Street between Locust and Manning streets in the Fitler Square neighborhood of the city.

After weeks of debates, the Civic Design Review board of Philadelphia unanimously green lighted the mixed-use tower designed by Cecil Baker + Partners on a triangle-shaped parking at 210-20 South 25th Street, at the intersection of 5thStreet and Locust Street.

One Riverside Place will include 167 luxury apartments on 18 levels with retail and amenity space such as a fitness center, game room and club room, along with a cafe on the ground floor, according to the proposal.

The project will also include 14,000 square feet of landscaped terrace built over a parking podium with 81 parking spaces and 49 spaces for bicycle storage, according to the proposal.

One Riverside would front the Schuylkill River Trail. Apartments would occupy floors 3 through 20 and the top floor would have three penthouse units. The new tower would sit near Locust on the Park, another one of Dranoff’s developments.

Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, One Riverside Place will feature several green amenities that will make it a sustainable addition to the Fitler Square neighborhood.

The tower will be built from recycled and locally produced materials, which is expected to reduce energy consumption and water use by 20 percent.

A green deck above the parking garage and new plants and trees at sidewalk level will improve the quality of air. The area is presently zoned for industrial use.

In order to maximize natural daylight and reduce the need for artificial light, each residential unit will feature floor-to-ceiling windows.


Tuesday, June 10, 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.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Childrens' Hospital Massive Addition on Schuylkill River

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is planning to construct a massive 23-story, 563,063 square foot office building at 700 Schuylkill Avenue. CHOP will build the first tower in order to consolidate employees who currently work out of a few locations around the city, mostly at 3535 Market Street. 
As the hospital grows, there will be three more buildings on the site, nearly as tall as the first tower, over the next 10 years. The parcel could accommodate about 2 million square feet when fully built out.

Phase 1 construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is undergoing an extensive expansion that includes the construction of three new facilities: on Schuylkill Avenue; a new Specialty Care Center in King of Prussia; and the relocation of two existing clinics into a new building, to be constructed in South Philadelphia.

The first phase of the hospital's massive addition to the banks of the Schuylkill River has received both praise and negative feedback.

The metal and glass building and campus, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli and Cooper Robertson & Partners, would include clinical research facilities and office space. These uses would remain consistent over the two prospective future phases at the site.

Doug Carney, CHOP's senior vice president of facilities, hopes the new tower would “be attractive to the world-class researchers we compete for.”

The half-million-square-foot tower would stand right next to the low-rise neighborhoods of Graduate Hospital and the Devil’s Pocket, and would bring 1,000 researchers to the site each day.

Besides the tower, the Phase 1 plan for the site includes a four-story parking garage mostly tucked away next to the South Street Bridge.

A new stoplight would be installed at the garage’s entrance on the bridge, cutting a hole in the bike lane and the sidewalk, thereby requiring bicyclists and pedestrians to stop and wait as an estimated 500 cars a day come off of I-76 and make the turn into the driveway.
Of particular interest to neighbors of the new tower is the layout of the proposed park that will accompany CHOP's new tower, which some see as "more of a landscaped entrance than a real park".

The tower itself has a footprint shaped like a fan or a seashell.

The first four stories will be clad in terra cotta and vertical metallic tubing, above which an aluminum and glass fa├žade will rise to the roof, topped by a section of metallic tubes that create a background for an illuminated CHOP logo.

The wall facing east, toward the neighborhood, has some visual character at ground level thanks to the wide steps that flank both sides of the tower and lead to the promenade, as well as a semicircular indentation that marks the building’s entranceway and rises to the roofline.

The project also includes several public and green areas. Level with the bridge will be a promenade positioned above the CSX tracks to offer a view of the Schuylkill River. At the southern end of this promenade, an eventual bridge over the train tracks will provide access to the extension of the Schuylkill Banks hike-and-bike trail.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Long Vacant Mt. Sinai Hospital Buildings to be Converted into Apartments

The former Mt. Sinai Hospital in Dickinson Square West, which has been closed since 1997, will be transformed into 235 residences.  Both the original 1921 hospital and the addition built in the late 1980s will be reused, according to plans filed by developer Greenpointe Construction.  

Designed by Barton Partners architects and planners, the proposal includes 198 rental apartments located in the existing buildings, and 37 owner-occupied townhouses. The project, which would take up the entire block, also includes a restaurant, meeting space, a gym and 157 off-street parking spaces.

The townhouses will be built on former surface parking lots at Fourth & Reed and on Fifth and Dickinson Streets. Some small existing structures on the block, including a loading dock, would be demolished to make room for the townhouses.

The apartments will consist of 128 one-bedroom units, approximately 600 to 900 square feet, and 47 two-bedroom units, approximately 750 to 1,280 square feet. 

Greenpointe does both new construction and adaptive reuse as opportunities arise.

The company built 15 new townhouses and two condos at 12th and Latona . It also built Arrow Swim Club from an old warehouse for Tower Investments and converted an old church on 3rd Street into a tech company's offices.

The upper floors of the old hospital will make for some balconies with incredible views.  And the former emergency room entrance, where the restaurant would be located, would make some interesting, pretty amazing commercial space, with 15-foot ceilings.

The community also has concerns about parking, which has long been a neighborhood problem, and, regardless of what happens with the project, will continue to be.

The project would be built in phases, starting with the townhomes.

Greenpointe has pledged to include amenities that will benefit the community - things like street trees and improvements to sewer, water and electric systems - as part of the first phase.

The commercial portion of the project will begin with a restaurant. Depending on how that goes, other commercial property could be added.

“It's iconic from its history and its visibility. To be able to reuse what's there and maintain its distinctiveness is great.” said the developer.