Anyone that has been to Northern Liberties near the intersection of 2nd St. and Germantown Ave. recently has seen the massive development under construction behind the Acme parking garage. The long-vacant lot just north of the Piazza that recently hosted the short-lived Piazza Pod Park is undergoing a much more permanent transformation.
Post Brothers, the prominent Philadelphia developer that is leading the conversion of a warehouse at 9th and Poplar into a 285-unit mixed-use building, has a master plan for Northern Liberties that includes this site along with several other properties.
On the site between the Acme and the Piazza, Post Brothers is developing multiple structures that will include over 1.14 million square feet of buildings with 1,131 residential units, 35,803 square feet of commercial space, 427 total parking spots, and 378 bicycle spaces along with other public and private amenities. This development is called The Piazza Terminal.
The Piazza Terminal buildings will vary in height between 60 feet tall and 180 feet tall. The facades will be constructed of various materials including multiple colors of brick, which will help break up this massive development and keep it interesting from the street level.
A hardscaped and landscaped pedestrian pathway lined with retail will slice through the center of the development. Post Brothers put a large emphasis on pedestrian flow when designing their master plan for Northern Liberties. So, this pathway will not only be a great outdoor amenity for neighbors, residents, and customers of the retail establishments, but will also connect the development to the west side of Northern Liberties and the El Station at Front and Girard. Post Brothers foresees neighbors walking from 3rd Street along Liberties Walk, across 2nd St. and by the Piazza, and then through the Piazza Terminal to get to the train station and to Fishtown.
On the south side of the development, Germantown Avenue will be lined with commercial spaces on both sides of the street. This section of Germantown Avenue is a private road maintained by Post Brothers. Post Brothers will install traffic-calming measures along this strip and will host outdoor farmers markets, festivals, food truck popups, concerts, and other events here.
As mentioned, Post Brothers has several other developments planned on the surrounding blocks. We told you briefly about Mercato, a 280-unit proposal at the site of Post Brothers’ current office. Post Brothers will also be redeveloping Liberties Walk with mixed-use and office buildings. We’ll cover these other projects in more detail in the near future and will continue to check in on the Piazza Terminal as construction progresses.
The Piazza Terminal and Post Brothers’ other developments are going to help Northern Liberties continue to evolve from an artist mecca into an extension of Center City. In recent years, as Northern Liberties has grown, retail and residential rents have skyrocketed, sucking a lot of the homegrown energy out of the neighborhood. Post Brothers promises to keep commercial rents realistic in order to attract neighborhood-appropriate, local retailers to the area. The residential density that these developments include will also help quell rising rents and will provide a spark of energy to the commercial businesses along the 2nd St. corridor and Northern Liberties as a whole.
This development is truly massive and may seem disruptive today. However, as these buildings become active, we think they will be a huge positive for the neighborhood. A vacant lot is being transformed into homes for thousands of people, multiple retail storefronts, and public spaces. Northern Liberties is maturing before our eyes and we are extremely excited to witness its continued progression.
How do you feel about this mega project and how do you think it will affect Northern Liberties? What types of businesses would you like to see open at the Piazza Terminal?
Kyle is a Philadelphia real estate agent on the Agent PHL team at Compass, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients find homes, investment properties, and development opportunities.
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