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8 Mixed-Use Philadelphia Developments Redefining The Urban Village

The Philadelphia skyline

New urbanism has refocused development around designing dense, walkable, urban centers.

Developers are no longer focusing just on retail or residential, but are instead finding ways to combine multiple asset classes into self-contained communities where residents can live, work, play, socialize and shop. But it is not enough to provide variety. Successful projects take into account uses that benefit the local neighborhood and tenant demographic, which can offer greater revenue-generating potential. 

Across eight of Philadelphia’s mixed-use projects in the works, Philadelphia has seen developers use different asset combinations to build the city's next great urban village. 

These icons from BLT Architects identify hospitality, office, retail, residential and other mixed-use types, like green spaces, across Philly's developments.

1. FMC Tower at Cira Centre South  

FMC Tower at Cira Centre South

Brandywine Realty Trust has dubbed The FMC Tower at Cira Centre South Philadelphia’s "First Vertical Neighborhood." 

The 49-story high-rise offers a mix of luxury residences, extended-stay corporate suites, hotel rooms, office space and restaurants. Amenities include conference rooms, a skyline terrace with fire pits, a hydrotherapy spa, media lounge and theater. For health-conscious residents, the tower features a modern fitness facility with a 73-foot pool, in addition to a yoga studio and a golf simulator.

FMC Tower stands at the gateway to the University City neighborhood, and is within walking distance to Amtrak's 30th Street Station.

2. Comcast Technology Center

A rendering of the Comcast Technology Center

When completed, the 1,121-foot Comcast Technology Center will be the tallest building in Philadelphia. The skyscraper will house 1.3M SF of offices, more than 200K SF of hotel space and approximately 3,770 SF of retail. Capitalizing on the tower’s height, and its Logan Square location, the top floor of the building will offer a dining experience with panoramic views of Philadelphia. 

3. East Market

A rendering of the East Market project

The five-year, $600M redevelopment plan for the complex bounded by Market, Chestnut, 12th and 11th streets will transform former department stores into an urban village. 

An existing retail building was demolished and replaced with 135K SF of retail space and The Ludlow, a 322-unit residential tower. Renovations also called for updates to an existing, eight-story office building, 1100 Ludlow. Another residential tower is in the works. Major retail tenants like Wawa and Iron Hill Brewery have already signed leases to occupy the ground floor.

4. South Quarter Crossing

A rendering of South Quarter Crossing

Cedar Realty Trust plans to rebrand the Quartermaster Plaza and South Philadelphia Shopping Center into South Quarter Crossing. The project will transform the retail hub located in South Philly into a mix of residential, retail and office space. The site already boasts over 40 stores with a variety of national, regional and local retailers. The project proposes to add 150K SF of anchors, specialty shops, restaurants and other retail.

The development will also include over 200 residential units as well as office space. South Quarter Crossing is poised to bring a lifestyle destination to South Philadelphia. 

5. The Curtis Center

The Curtis Center

Once the home of The Curtis Publishing Co., this historic 12-story office building is being converted to residential and office use. The centerpiece of the property is its 12-story atrium, which serves as a public gathering space for the city. Café-style seating and a two-floor restaurant and bar are also in the pipeline.

Nestled in the central business district and adjacent to Washington Square Park, The Curtis Center takes advantage of a highly active neighborhood by creating a live-work-play community.

6. uCity Square

A rendering of uCity Square.

Another development in University City, uCity Square combines residential, retail and office space with speculative lab facilities. Surrounded by colleges and universities, independent research institutions, world-renowned hospitals, hundreds of shops and thousands of jobs, uCity Square aims to be a center for innovation.

The complex has direct access to University City Science Center programs like the Port business incubator and Quorum, a gathering space for the region's entrepreneurs. Spread across the property’s 6.5M SF, tenants can take advantage of Innovation Plaza, a central square with year-round community events. 

7. Lincoln Square

A rendering of Lincoln Square at the corner of South Broad Street and Washington Avenue in Philadelphia

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, grocery stores remain strong anchor tenants for one reason: residents still need convenient access to fresh food. At the $100M development project at Lincoln Square, the 130-foot mixed-use building will include 100K SF of retail anchored by a Target. It will also include over 400 parking spaces that will service the more than 322 apartments in the building.

8. Eastern Tower Community Center

A rendering of the Eastern Tower Community Center

The proposed 20-story tower on Vine Street would not only bring 150 residential units to the area, but also 45K SF of recreational and retail space on the first through fifth floors. The Eastern Tower Community Center is a development designed with a community’s needs in mind, and has the potential to reunite a neighborhood physically divided by the Vine Street Expressway. 

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What mixed-use combination do you consider to be the most successful?
Residential + Office + Retail + Hotel + Other
Residential + Office + Retail + Hotel
Residential + Office + Retail
Residential + Office + Other
Residential + Office + Hotel
Office + Retail + Hotel + Other
Office + Retail + Hotel
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