New high-rise apartment tower is planned at 23rd and Walnut Street in Philadelphia
The high rise with 172 units would replace a shuttered Rite Aid and its surface parking lot.
Another high-rise apartment tower may be coming to the west side of Walnut Street, according to renderings recently submitted to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.
The plans show a 12-story multifamily building, with space for ground-floor retail, underground parking, and rooftop amenities. The lot at 2301 Walnut St. currently hosts a surface parking lot and a recently shuttered Rite Aid. But it is zoned CMX-4, an extremely permissive category that allows for great density and height.
The developer is listed as the Dallas-headquartered Trammell Crow Co.’s High Street Residential subsidiary, with prominent local firm BLT Architects in charge of design. The building would have 172 residential units, 32 underground parking spaces, 8,186 square feet of retail space, and 5,000 square feet of public space.
“The streetscape is attractive, but the building itself is unoriginal,” said Richard Gross, president of the Center City Residents Association. “It’s much better than the Rite Aid though.”
Gross said that Trammell Crow had reached out to his neighborhood group and offered a community benefits agreement, even though the developer isn’t seeking any zoning variances for the project.
The land is owned by Patriot Parking Inc, a company that owns and operates surface parking lots and garages throughout Center City. Its president, Richard Zeghibe, declined to comment.
Trammell Crowe also declined to speak directly about the plan.
“I can’t comment specifically about 2301 Walnut,” said Andrew Mele, managing director of Trammell Crowe’s Northeast Metro Division. “I would just tell you that Trammell Crowe … is looking at a number of multifamily and residential opportunities around not only Philly, but the whole Northeast. We are excited about things to come in that sector for us.”
This stretch of Walnut Street is currently seeing a lot of development interest. A block to the east of the former Rite Aid, a 10-story, 29-unit condominium building is proposed on 2204 Walnut St., although it needs the permission of the Historical Commission to move forward. At Friday’s meeting of the commission, the case was pushed to next month for consideration.
Across the street from the proposed condo building, the Philadelphia Business Journal has reported, Sunoco is rumored to be a target for a high-rise redevelopment by developer Carl Dranoff, who just finished Arthaus on South Broad Street. If both the gas station and the former Rite Aid are redeveloped, that will be two auto-centric Center City businesses potentially being converted into more urban uses.
“We are seeing a lot of confidence in the growth of the city,” Gross said. “It may be a sign that the pandemic has receded, and we are finally back — at least in Center City.”
*This story has been updated to make note of which Trammell Crow subsidiary is developing the property.