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.