Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Massive Mixed-Use Complex Planned for Fairmount Avenue

A company named Broad Street Holdings is planning to construct a supermarket, two parking levels, two residential towers, and 27 residential row homes at 1300 Fairmount Avenue, a large development site directly behind the Divine Lorraine Hotel in North Philadelphia. New York developer RAL Companies & Affiliates is designing the 860,000 square foot project which will be located just a block away from the Broad Street Line’s Fairmount station.

Plans for the massive development call for construction of a large supermarket, with an attendant parking garage that will front on Ridge Avenue, while a belt of row houses will line the block bounded by 13th Street, Melon, Park, and Wallace Streets.

Finally, at the corner of 13th Street and Fairmount Avenue, two midsize residential structures would be erected: a 15-story mid-rise residential building facing Fairmount Avenue, and an 18-story apartment tower, about the same height as the Divine Lorraine.

A short part of Melon Street–between Ridge and Park Avenues–would also be erased in favor of the supermarket. The market will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood as two large new apartment buildings are just two blocks away.

It is difficult to attempt large-scale projects on North Broad Street. The street calls for higher densities than what is being built in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Blumenfeld Development, which owns the Divine Lorraine and Metropolitan Opera House, developed 600 North Broad and Lofts 640, and is currently working on Mural Lofts in the former Thaddeus Stevens Public School, has been going at a relatively slow pace in large part for this reason.

Broad Street Holdings, based at 275 Seventh Avenue in New York City, bought the property from the City just prior to the beginning of 2014 for one dollar, a fraction of a percent of the parcel’s $6.3 million assessed value.

The developer is seeking $15 million in state funding for this project.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

$56 Million One Ardmore Place Luxury Development

The first phase of a challenging revitalization effort in Ardmore is now closer to fruition as developer Dranoff Properties is preparing to construct an 8-story mixed-use project called One Ardmore Place.

Conveniently located near the Ardmore train station, the $56 million project will transform the township-owned Cricket Avenue parking lot into 121 high-end studio, one, two and three bedroom rental apartments with state-of-the-art amenities and a 24/7 concierge.

10,500 square feet of ground floor retail space, as well as covered parking on two decks with more than 200 parking spaces, will round out the complex.

The project is estimated to create 900 construction jobs and 80 permanent retail jobs and generate around $40 million in annual revenue once construction is completed.

Once the parking garage is complete, it must for the first five years provide the same number of public spots — 133, with four-hour meters — that the Cricket Avenue lot provided, in an agreement reached with local businesses owners, so that they would drop their challenge to the project.

One Ardmore Place will stand at the crossroads of stores, homes and the historic district, where just about everything is within walking distance.

Located on Philadelphia's affluent Main Line, Ardmore is bordered by Wynnewood, Haverford, Gladwyne and Havertown, One Ardmore Place will be the very heart and soul of the town’s revitalization.

Originally unveiled in 2008 as Ardmore Station, the project was scaled back from a $180 million, three-phase development with 335 apartment units and 120,000 square feet of office and retail space, as the economy stumbled.

Pre-construction is already underway with ground breaking slated for early this year.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

216-unit Apartment Complex Coming to 401 Race Street

The City Planning Commission approved developer Priderock Capital Group’s proposal to build a 4-story, 216-unit apartment complex at 4th and Race streets in Old City, despite concerns raised by the Civic Design Review Committee.

The Civic Design Review Committee felt the design for 401 Race Street was overly suburban and not ambitious enough for the most historic acre in the United States.

The 216-unit residential complex will be bounded by 4th, 5th, Race, and Florist streets, just off of Independence Mall.

The site is on its own block, surrounded on various sides by historic Old City, the U.S. Mint, and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Developers had previously proposed building a controversial hotel project on the site.

“This building has to look like an important, civic-minded building… It has got to be a great goddamn building,” said Architectural Committee panelist Cecil Baker.

Nancy Rogo-Trainer, a commissioner and chair of the Civic Design Review Committee said, “The materials in particular are disappointing. It’s really kind of sad when someone building a block from Independence Mall thinks that standard brick is too deluxe a material, too expensive.”

Alan Greenberger, the commission chairman, said he didn’t have any problems with the two variances the developer is seeking, for height and loading.

He also said the prominence of the site may not be “what it’s cracked up to be,” given that the south side of the property faces a solid blank wall across Race Street.

Get more information about the project HERE.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Ten Skyline Altering Projects Coming to Center City

If you have ever been stuck in mid-day traffic, you know that Philadelphia construction is booming. The signs are everywhere, from exposed steel for super tall skyscrapers in Center City to large cranes for massive apartment complexes on the waterfront. But some of the city’s largest projects are still waiting to get underway. 

Here’s a list of skyline altering development taking place in and around Center City:

1121 feet


Cira Centre South (FMC Tower)     
730 feet


600 feet


615 feet


W Hotel and Residences
582 feet

1911 Walnut Street
525 feet & 200 feet


Market8 Casino
450 feet


Riverwalk Apartment Towers
446 feet, 220 feet, 220 feet


MIC Apartment Tower
429 feet


500 Walnut Street Condominiums
380 feet