Friday, September 8, 2017

New 29-Story Condo Tower to be Built on Jewelers Row

A new condominium tower is planned for Philadelphia’s historic Jewelers Row, just off of Seventh and Sansom Streets. The new tower at 702 Sansom Street will be 29 stories and 354 feet tall and will have 115 condominium units. The project is being developed by luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers, and is being designed by SLCE Architects. 

The controversial part is that Toll Brothers is planning to demolish five 18-foot wide, midrise buildings that housed jewelry stores and gem cutting and polishing rooms on upper floors, arguing that the buildings’ different heights and floor alignments wouldn’t be compatible with a modern, ADA-accessible building. 

Jewelers Row is a storied Center City shopping street characterized by midrise buildings devoted entirely to jewelry sales and manufacturing by small local retailers, which makes a high rise building additionally controversial. 

Efforts to stop the demolition of the existing buildings, in court and by the Zoning Board, have failed and now the developers and architects presented their plans to the Planning Commission’s Civic Design Review Board.

The new tower will be 29 stories and 354 feet tall and will have 115 condominium units.  The units will be one, two, and three bedroom units, with the main entrance and lobby on Sansom Street. 

The developers are planning 2,600 square feet of retail space in hopes of returning the retail space that will be lost when the previous buildings are demolished. The new retail likely will be jewelry stores. 

The new building will have no on-site parking, but Toll Brothers is contracting with nearby garages to provide at least 40 parking spaces and will offer a valet service out front.

There will, also, be 37 bicycle parking spaces. 

The new tower will be set back from the four-story podium, with private terraces for the fifth floor residences.

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