West Philly has seen an explosion of job growth and development over the last decade. University City alone now boasts over 80,000 jobs in health care, education, technology, finance, hospitality, and supporting industries. As mega-projects such as uCity Square, the 30th Street District, and Schuylkill Yards come to market in the coming years, we can only expect these employment numbers to rise.
With more high paying jobs in the area, there is a need for more high-end residential units. We saw a 26-story, 276 unit building rise at 3737 Chestnut St. in 2015. The building was leased out and later sold in 2017 for $118 million. Residential demand and investor interest are extremely high in University City.
Less than a half of a block east of 3737 Chestnut St. is 3720 Chestnut, a more than 26,500 square foot CMX-4 zoned parcel. The site was formerly the home of the Newman Center student ministry, but was sold to developers by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in September 2018 for $18.7 million. The low-rise Newman Center was demolished in late 2018 to clear way for development.
The new project will consist of a 30-story, 343 foot high, 427,100 square foot tower with 420 apartments, 4,000 square feet of retail, 40 car parking spots, and 142 bike spaces. The apartments will be a mix of studios, 1 bedroom units, and 2 bedroom units. Onsite parking will be underground and an additional 75 spots have been secured at a nearby garage.
Construction is already well underway. The foundation and the subterranean level are complete. A tower crane stands over the three reinforced concrete floors that have already risen out of the ground. The project is estimated to be completed in 2021 and we look forward to seeing the building’s affect on the skyline.
We do not think this building will have a problem finding tenants. 3737 Chestnut has had low vacancy rates, and the the University City population will continue to increase over the next two years. There will be no shortage of students and professionals looking for high-end living arrangements.
We are happy to see these units being added to the market. If employment numbers continue to rise in University City, we need to see residential unit counts increase as well. People like to live near where they work and if we do not add more units in West Philly, we will continue to see rents increase and long-time residents pushed out of their homes.
Remember, The International House is for sale right across the street. So, if you want to get in on the University City action, a big opportunity awaits.
Kyle is a commercial real estate agent at Rittenhouse Realty Advisors, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients buy and sell multifamily investment properties, development opportunities, and industrial sites.
Email Kyle@RittenhouseRealty.com if you are looking to buy or sell a property