If you live in Old City or follow Philadelphia real estate development in general, you’ve probably heard about several plans for the southwest corner of 2nd and Race Streets. The property was most recently occupied by a commercial kitchen supply store.
Back in 2017, zoning permits were issued for a 5-story building with 13 residential units and ground floor commercial space on the corner. The design of that building was reminiscent of some of the historical loft buildings in Old City yet with a modern flair.
Then, in 2018, a 19-story building that was planned to be both a hotel and condominiums was proposed for the corner. That concept was shut down as the property is restricted by a 65 foot height limit due to it being in the Old City historic district.
Next, in 2020, plans were revealed for a 6-story building with 49 residential units and ground floor commercial space on the corner. That plan incorporated the historic building at 152 North 2nd Street but never came to fruition.
These three old plans were intended to be built on the parcels running from 152 to 164 North 2nd Street. However, it looks like we can disregard all of them as a new plan is in store on a smaller section of the block.
Details on the new plan were released in anticipation of the Historical Commission’s architectural review of the project. The new plan only includes the parcels at 160-64 North 2nd Street and is overall the smallest recent plan for the corner. However, we think the design is quite attractive and that this might be the one that actually gets built.
The project entails a 6-story building with 6 residential units, ground floor commercial space, and 3 automobile parking spots which are required due to the property’s CMX-3 zoning. We imagine the residential units will be for-sale condos when completed and will be some of the most desired units in Old City. We know we would like to live in a building like this.
Historical Commission staff has given the project preliminary approval. If it receives final approval from the Historical Commission, the project will be able to proceed by-right. A zoning permit for the development has already been issued and the structure that previously stood on the corner has been demolished.
How do you feel about this project? Do you like this plan better than previous iterations? What kind of business would you like to see open in the commercial space?
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