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New York-Based Group Seeks $20M Grant For Massive North Philadelphia Revitalization


A group of New York-based developers is looking to build a large, mixed-use complex centered around the North Philadelphia transit hub, attempting to revitalize one of the most destitute areas of the city.

The project, to be called the North Station District, is being developed by North Philadelphia District LLC, led by JLL managing director Michael Shenot, with involvement from HFZ Capital and the Arete Group, with minority ownership from Amtrak and Merchant Equity Group. The collection of developers envisions an eventual 1.7M SF mix of office, residential, retail and lab/creative manufacturing space, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The plot of land sits just between the North Philadelphia Amtrak and regional rail station and the Broad Street Line subway station of the same name. Part of the improvements for the mostly blighted site would include restoring an underground tunnel between the two stations.

The first phase of the development, set to cost $162M, would include a six-story apartment building with 105 units, a 21-story tower with 128 apartments and 214K SF of office space, and renovation of a neighboring, condemned warehouse into a flexible space for startups and manufacturing. The LLC has applied for a $20M grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to help cover the cost.

Situated just north of Temple University's main campus, the North Station District seeks to accomplish, on a smaller scale, what Schuylkill Yards plans for in northeast University City and Powelton Village: massive development centered around a transit hub to jump-start an economic revival in the area.

The difference between the two ideas is the lack of an already-prosperous neighbor, like University City proper for North Station District, but the added risk was likely offset by the relatively high return the group could get, much higher than any plot in their native New York could bring.

Related Topics: JLL, Amtrak, HFZ Capital, RACP, Arete Group