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Here Are The 4 Multifamily Projects Up For Civic Design Review This Month

Even though the multifamily market in Philadelphia is dealing with absorption challenges ahead of a development slowdown, the industry is already prepping its next wave with four proposals to the Civic Design Review for its July 10 hearing.

3720 Chestnut St.

A rendering of the multifamily building proposed at 3720 Chestnut St. in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia

An affiliate of Conshohocken-based Exeter Property Group agreed in January to purchase the 3720 Chestnut St. lot from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which operates the Newman Center, a hub for Catholic student services, at that location.

While the Archdiocese will use the proceeds of the sale to relocate the Newman Center's activities, Exeter is proposing to build a 427K SF, 30-story building with 420 apartments above 4K SF of ground-floor retail and 40 underground parking spaces. Exeter is also planning 140 bike parking spaces on the lot, as well as environmental remediation, like added greenery and stormwater drainage, on the 59K SF site.

A typical floor plan for the building's multifamily portion will include seven one-bedroom apartments, four two-bedroom apartments and four studio units.

A ground-level rendering of Exeter Property Group's multifamily proposal at 3720 Chestnut St.

To fit with the older church buildings on either side of the lot, the base of the building in this proposal will be made up of stone and brick masonry, with glass and steel above.

The second floor will house most of the building's amenities, including a fitness center, a coworking area, an outdoor terrace and a lounge. Besides the added greenery, Exeter and architect SITIO Architecture & Urbanism have no current plans to go above the minimum requirements for environmental sustainability.

The plot at 3720 Chestnut St. is zoned for CMX-4, the second-largest mixed-use designation in the city's zoning code. The building's height and usage of the lot, including a minimum of 21% set aside for public space, fit within the zoning requirements, so once it completes the nonbinding design review process, it can proceed with construction.

419 Bainbridge St.

A rendering of the multifamily building proposed at 419 Bainbridge St. in Philadelphia

A collaboration of Gorman & Co. and E-Z Park has proposed a seven-story multifamily development with ground-floor retail in the Queen Village neighborhood of South Philly.

The L-shaped building, designed by JKRP Architects, will contain parking on the second through fourth floors. The second floor will also contain residential amenities, and 48 apartments will be on the second through sixth floors. A roof deck will sit on top of the building with additional amenities on the seventh floor.

The parking garage will include spots for car-sharing services, as well as charging stations for electric cars. No details have been provided to CDR as to square footage of each individual component, but the building will contain a mix of brick, steel, glass and concrete. 

The main retail frontage will sit along Bainbridge Street, with a portion along South Philly's main commercial drag of East Passyunk Avenue.

1500-48 Randolph St.

A rendering of the proposed development at 1500-48 Randolph St. in the Olde Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia

Developer Streamline Group has proposed a row of low-rise apartments totaling 49 units on the 24K SF lot at 1500-48 Randolph St. in the Olde Kensington neighborhood just north of Northern Liberties. The area is zoned RSA-5, allowing large, attached single-family homes.

The development, designed by architectural firm Harman Deutsch, is split into eight buildings, with seven containing six apartments each and the other building containing seven. The buildings will be split by a driveway leading to off-street car parking for the development.

Each building will be four stories tall and have roof decks accessible by multiple units. The central, largest building will straddle the driveway and carry the extra unit. Each building will be a nearly identical mix of brick, wood and metal paneling on the front, with fiber siding in the rear.

626 North Delaware Ave.

A rendering of DeSimone Auto Group's proposal for a mixed-use development on North Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia

Part of the rapid densification of the southern edge of Northern Liberties, DeSimone Auto Group's proposal for a high-rise apartment building anchored by one of their luxury, used car showrooms is also up for CDR on July 10. It is the only proposal that will also require variances, and thus a hearing from the Zoning Board of Adjustment, once the CDR process is complete.

The proposal, at 194 feet, is taller than the current zoning code allows, and DeSimone plans to include affordable apartments to obtain up to 48 extra feet in bonuses through the controversial set-aside policy still on the books. The mix of rent-restricted and market-rate among the 96 units was not disclosed in the proposal.

The maximum allowable height for the CMX-3 plot is 100 feet, but the 48 feet DeSimone would gain for its affordable housing, plus 24 more feet for a LEED Gold certification, still leave the plan 24 feet taller than what the zoning code allows. Another variance DeSimone is hoping for is on the minimum amount of open space required in a lot, which in this case is 40%. DeSimone is hoping to take up 100% of its property with the development.

If approved, the auto seller hopes to spin off the multifamily portion of its development, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.