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Top 9 Buildings Transforming Philadelphia Communities

As the first capital of the United States, Philadelphia is the birthplace of patriotism. As the American spirit sprints forward with developments in technology, the economy and social consciousness, so too does the landscape of the City of Brotherly Love. Here's a look at nine new Philadelphia buildings embedding themselves in—and bettering—their neighborhoods and communities.

1. FMC Tower at Cira Centre South


Recognizing the great emphasis the Millennial workforce places on green practices, today’s commercial real estate clients don't prefer clean energy for their office spaces, they demand it.

The new vertical neighborhood of the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and Philadelphia-based BLT Architects, seamlessly blends modern amenities and urban design with a LEED Silver certification awarded for plumbing fixtures that reduce excess water flow, highly efficient mechanical systems and a green roof. In November 2015, the tower formally opened Cira Green, which—at 95 feet above ground on the banks of the Schuylkill River—is the first elevated park in Philly.

2. Dalian on the Park


One of the newest residential buildings in the city, Dalian on the Park blends seamlessly with (and offers stunning views of) the city’s Fairmount Park, the largest urban park in the US. Resting on a ground-floor Whole Foods Market, this mixed-use community offers easy access to the city’s cultural and social hubs, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Schuylkill River and River Trail, Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation.

3. East Market


America’s first Market Street is a perfect mix of modernity and tradition, and the planned newest additions to its Center City blocks will reflect just that. Phase 1 of the 4.3-acre East Market development will be 322 residential units, 9,600 SF of static and digital signage and below-grade loading and parking, 160k SF of retail, and modern dining and shopping options.

The development promises to transform Market and Chestnut streets between 11th and 12th into a new, completely pedestrian-oriented urban environment. Gourmet grocery store Mom’s Organic Market has been moving in since August, and Philly publications speculate that, with the city’s famous Reading Terminal Market a mere block away, the area is likely to become a popular foodie destination.

East Market's Phase 2 features a new residential tower on the corner of 12th and Market streets, sitting on a retail podium designed in homage to the adjacent PSFS building. The tower will house an additional 240 residential units and features state-of-the-art amenities with a landscaped roof deck complete with heated outdoor pool. This mixed-use urban site is pedestrian-friendly, and offers four-sided retail, office and residential—all on top of underground loading and parking.

4. CHOP Research Tower


The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia right off UPenn’s campus (above) ranks as the No. 2 children’s medical care center in the country. Since its inception in 1855, the hospital has provided top-notch medical care to the children and families in and around the Philadelphia community while serving as an opportunity for students of medicine, nursing and healthcare to gain experience in research and patient care.

The 21-story CHOP Research Tower—expected completion in spring 2017—will expand upon the hospital’s powerhouse research facilities, parking and a number of communal greenspaces.

5. Lincoln Square


The mixed-use Lincoln Square project—poised for construction at the intersection of Broad and Washington, several public transit stops and the East Passyunk district—is designed to be a perfect storm of functionality and aesthetic. The residential building will even offer a rainwater-collecting green roof. Lincoln Square’s apartments should become an in-demand luxury residential hub for Millennial professionals, graduate students and growing families alike.

6. Schuylkill Yards


Drexel University's massive $3.5B project, in conjunction with Brandywine Realty Trust on the banks of the Schuylkill River and adjacent to 30th Street Station (above) is finally breaking ground, commencing first with a 700k SF office and lab building.

The building is the initial step of the private university's bid to create 2M SF of mixed-use and residential spaces. The plan over the next 20 years is to create a mini-Silicon Valley—a center of innovation and university living—right off University City.

7. Penn Medicine New Patient Pavilion


University City campuses are truly helming the city’s influx of community-oriented buildings. Penn Medicine's (above) new Patient Pavilion will feature a new ER department, 500 new patient rooms and a spacious parking garage. Plans are awaiting finalization from Penn and the Civic Design Review committee.

8. The Bridge on Race Street


Having broken ground in 2014, 15 of the 146 units in this mixed-income, 17-story apartment complex will be affordable apartments, offering a number of middle-income residents the opportunity to live in a luxurious central urban location.

The building is anticipated to hold true to its namesake, serving as a bridge between the traditionally wealthier, historic Old City district near 2nd Street (above) to the modern lifestyle and fast pace of Center City. The LEED Gold-certified edifice will have personal bike and car parking spaces as well as a green roof, communal barbecue areas and fitness amenities on the fifth floor.

9. 1601 Vine St


Two new buildings are springing up in the heart of Center City, just across from the Philadelphia Pennsylvania LDS Temple. The residential tower at The Alexander—featuring 258 apartment units, 13 townhouses, luxury amenities and a first floor dedicated to retail—and a 24k SF, two-story meeting house will serve as a hub for members of the church and the community at large seeking a lively, central mixed-use center downtown.