The development team behind the Museum Towers (or, as they'll now be known, the Museum Towers I), is looking to build a second sixteen story apartment tower with 270 units, sixteen townhomes, and a 439 spot parking garage. The proposal goes before Civic Design Review tomorrow, which means that community members will get a chance to voice their concerns. There are no zoning variances required, so regardless of community feelings, the tower will get built. (heh heh)
January 15, 2014
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As previously speculated (see related story), Comcast today announced plans to build a second office tower in Philadelphia. This one, called the “Comcast Innovation and Technology Center,” will come with a hefty price tag: $1.2 billion.
Being billed as the tallest building in the United States outside of New York or Chicago, the new Comcast tower, at 1,121 feet, will stand 59 stories tall at 18th and Arch Streets, and will employee 20,000 people during construction, according to a company press release.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts says the new building is being designed by famed British architect Norman Foster.
The new building, which will become home to television stations NBC 10 and Telemundo 62 (both now owned by Comcast as part of its purchase of NBC Universal) will also include a block-long lobby, and outdoor plaza, and a Four Seasons hotel in the upper floors.
Nice looking proposal in Austin. For those of you who want more on the Schuylkill Boardwalk see below:
Yesterday, a press release came out advertising the Washington Square West Civic Association's endorsement of Market8, one of the five remaining casinotestants in the race for Philly's second casino license. Though Market8's central location (right at 8th and Market) has the potential to bring casino related problems right to Center City, the Market8 Team has come up with a whole program of neighborhood improvement to revitalize the Market East corridor.
It seems that the Washington Square Civic Association is convinced that, at least for their constituents, the casino will do more good than harm. The zoning chair of the civic association noted that the shops and restaurants that would come with the casino would "bring much-needed activity to Market Street". He also spoke positively of Market8's plans to make casino rewards redeemable in nearby businesses not associated with the casino.
City Council’s Committee on Rules approved a bill Wednesday that would amend portions of the zoning code to allow developer Carl Dranoff’s SLS International Hotel proposal on South Broad Street to be built by without any additional zoning approvals.
The proposal calls for a 47-story, 567-foot tower with 149 luxury hotel rooms and 123 residential condominiums. It would also include a bar and restaurant at the corner of Broad and Spruce streets, with retail space along Broad Street.
The property currently sits just south of the Center City zoning overlay.
The bill approved on Wednesday, which was introduced by 1st-District Councilman Mark Squilla, would rezone the property from CMX-4 to CMX-5, the most permissive commercial mixed-use classification in the zoning code.
It would also extend the Center City overlay south to include the property, allowing the developer to build to a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of up to 1,600%. Additionally, the bill adjusts regulations related to parking and loading to allow for curb cuts on Spruce Street, and to reduce the requirement for loading spaces.
Right at the corner of 16th and Vine, the Mormon Church will construct at 32 story residential tower. The tower will include retail space, townhouses, and apartments. There will also be a church meeting house. This new development will be right down the street from a temple they're also constructing at 17th and Vine.
The tower will encompass 258 apartments and 13 townhouses, none of which will be designated as affordable housing. There will also be 12,000 sq ft of retail space. Though there's no official estimate, the project will cost roughly $120M, and will receive no public subsidies.
The City Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend five bills aimed at smoothing the course for what will be Philadelphia’s tallest building, the new Comcast tower at 18th and Arch streets in Center City.
The bills were introduced in Council at the end of January, and will be heard in back-to-back committee hearings next Tuesday, Feb. 25th, starting at noon. The bills make various zoning changes to allow the new tower to be built without further approvals, such as raising the maximum density bonuses that the developer, Liberty Property Trust, can claim. They also upzone the property from CMX-4 to CMX-5, and remove the parcel from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway zoning overlay, which has a height limit of 125 feet.
Other bills authorize encroachments on the public right-of-way and adjustments to public streets.
Liberty’s John Gattuso said the project, which is estimated to cost $1.2 billion, will begin construction this summer and be completed by the end of 2017. It will include a 222-room Four Seasons hotel, two restaurants, and a water-and-glass sculpture inside the main entrance facing 18th Street.
The project also entails the extension of the SEPTA regional rail concourse across 18th Street, for which the state and city have contributed a combined $40 million dollars. Aside from that public contribution, Gattuso told PlanPhilly, the development will be financed entirely by Comcast and Liberty. (Comcast will be able to take advantage of job-creation tax credits once it starts bringing in new employees.)
Gattuso said that Liberty’s “biggest miss” in building the first Comcast tower — the soon-to-be second-tallest building in the city — was not including enough bicycle parking. The new tower will include spaces for approximately 175 bikes, Gattuso said.
If Council approves the bills, the project will only need to go through Civic Design Review before construction can begin.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/p..._Planning_Commission.html#KGjIqV0s66V77Wr7.99
The Lits Building, the ornate white building on the 700 block of Market Street, may become a host for a 30 story growth to be known as the Mellon Independence Center Tower. The new residential tower would include a basement lobby, street level retail, and 29 floors of apartments.
In order for the MIC tower to go up, it'll need to get approval from the Philadelphia Historical Commission. The flashy white facade at the corner of 7th and Market will remain untouched, as the tower will rise from behind of the adjacent brown brick portion of the building. However, the tower is still a strange addition to the historic complex of buildings, and would tower over them (the proposed height is 429 feet).
Hidden City reports that the facade materials would be mostly white and gray, so as not to distract from the 7th and Market landmark.
The Inquirer reports that the Family Court Building at 18th and Vine will become a Kimpton Hotel. The historic building, which is on the Register of Historic Places, will need to be preserved throughout the conversion: not only is the exterior designated as historic, many interior elements are too.
Kimpton Hotels already operate two luxury hotels in Philly: the Hotel Monaco, and the Hotel Palomar, both of which have been well received additions to the Philly hotel scene. Perhaps their other successes in the Philly market played a role in the city's choice to award them the chance to redevelop the hotel, which was the subject of a Request for Proposals that went out in 2012.
◾The Mormon Church will further connect Center City with North Philadelphia with the infill of a vacant lot at 16th & Vine Streets, says The Inquirer, with the constructions of a 32-story mixed-use tower (258 apartments, 13 townhouses, and retail shops). A meetinghouse, between that tower and the temple now under construction, will include a chapel, courtyard, multipurpose space, and a genealogy center. Robert A.M. Stern’s firm is responsible for the design of the additional buildings; the meetinghouse, like his design for the Museum of the American Revolution, looks to the past for its architectural cues, while the residential tower, says Mormon scholar Armand Mauss, exemplifies the modern church’s attempt for a greater inner-city presence. If granted the necessary variances, the church expects a 2016 completion date.