The Durst Organization plans a residential tower of up to 25 stories on the parking lot it is in the process of acquiring from the city just north of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
The New York-based developer opted for a high, narrow tower — instead of a shorter, wider building — so it could concentrate construction on the southern end of the Columbus Boulevard property between Vine and Callowhill Streets, spokesperson Anthony Campisi said.
He said Durst wants to limit activity on the north side of the 1.6-acre property known as the Vine Street Lot to avoid disturbing archaeological remains that are most prevalent beneath that section of the parcel.
The property entombs intact structures from its time as a shipyard starting in the late 17th century, including a slipway that was thought by archaeologists in a 1987 dig to be the only example of its kind on the East Coast.
Durst and the Delaware River Waterfront Corp., the quasi-public agency that has managed the property on the city’s behalf, hosted a public meeting Monday to present findings by a team with the engineering firm AECOM that was contracted to help craft a plan that takes the site’s archaeological significance into account.
Durst and the DRWC announced in January that the developer had been selected to buy the property, but they are still negotiating final details of the sale, Campisi said.
The plans for the building’s potential height, which Campisi said are preliminary, were first disclosed in an internal engineering study from September that had been obtained by members of a neighborhood group.
According to the document, which was shared with The Inquirer, the 347,000-square-foot structure’s bottom three stories will consist mostly of parking, with about 10,600 square feet of retail on the ground floor.