Proposed high-rise apartment tower for Walnut Street in Philadelphia

Another high-rise apartment tower could come up on the west side of Walnut Street, according to renderings recently submitted to the Philadelphia Planning Commission.

Plans show a 12-story multi-family building, with retail space on the ground floor, underground parking and rooftop amenities. The lot at 2301 Walnut St. currently hosts surface parking and a recently closed Rite Aid. But it’s zoned CMX-4, an extremely permissive category that allows for great density and height.

READ MORE: Rite Aid is closing another Philadelphia store, this time on Walnut Street. This is the seventh in a year.

The developer is listed as Trammell Crow Co., headquartered in Dallas, with prominent local firm BLT Architects in charge of the design. The building would include 172 residential units, 32 underground parking spaces, 8,186 square feet of commercial 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.”

Gross said Trammell Crow contacted his neighborhood group and offered a community benefits agreementeven though the proponent is not seeking any zoning exemptions for the project.

The land is owned by Patriot Parking Inc, a company that owns and operates surface parking lots and garages throughout downtown. Its president, Richard Zeghibe, declined to comment.

READ MORE: Proposed 10-story condo building amidst townhouses on Walnut Street

Trammell Crowe also declined to speak directly about the plan.

“I can’t comment specifically on 2301 Walnut,” said Andrew Mele, general manager of Trammell Crowe’s Northeast Metro division. “I would just like to let you know that Trammell Crowe … is considering a number of multi-family and residential opportunities not only in Philadelphia, but throughout the Northeast. We are excited about the things to come in this sector for us.

This stretch of Walnut Street is currently attracting a lot of development interest. A block east of the former Rite Aid, a 10-story, 29-unit condominium is proposed at 2204 Walnut St., though it needs Historic Commission clearance to move from before. At Friday’s committee meeting, the case was pushed back to next month for consideration.

In front of the proposed condo building, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported, Sunoco is rumored to be the target of a high-rise redevelopment by developer Carl Dranoff, who has just completed Arthaus on South Broad Street. If the gas station and the old Rite Aid are redeveloped, they will be two downtown auto-centric businesses potentially converted to more urban uses.

“We see great 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 the city center.”

READ MORE: Philadelphia’s multimillion-dollar housing market is doing well

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