If you’ve walked through the western section of the Logan Square neighborhood or if you’ve driven on I-76 through Center City of late, you’ve surely noticed the Riverwalk project progressing at 23rd & Cherry. This development is being constructed by PMC Property Group and includes a pair of apartment buildings on a site that served as a surface parking lot for decades. While a surface lot is pretty much never the highest and best use for a property, the presence of this lot was always particularly galling to us given the location in Logan Square and its proximity to the waterfront. Sure, the CSX tracks block direct access, but one of the at-grade crossings to the Schuylkill River Trail is just a block away at Race Street. Needless to say, we were delighted when plans were announced for this project back in 2017.
A reminder, we’ll soon see 711 apartments over the two towers, with 331 units in the 28-story northern building and another 380 in the slightly taller 32-story southern building. A giant (for the city) 65K sqft Giant will open in the northern building, while the southern building won’t have much retail but will contain a ton of amenity space that’s available to residents of both buildings. Amenities will include a pool, co-working space, lounges, on-site pet care, and a field house with courts that will accommodate tennis, soccer, basketball, and other sports. Check out these renderings from Gensler, which give a sense of what things will look like when all is said and done.
We visited the property last summer, at which point the northern tower was picking up cladding and the southern building was still in the underground phase. In the months that have passed since then, there’s been considerable progress, with the southern tower now about a dozen stories out of the ground and the northern tower now leasing, according to a sign on the building. In case you’re interested, studios start at $1,700, 1 bedrooms at $2,045, and 2 bedrooms at $3,760. Oh, and the supermarket is about a month away. Here’s how things look today, in the snow:
The fact that this site will go from a parking lot to hundreds of units over a grocery store is a huge win for the area and for the city as a whole. And don’t forget, there’s another building in the works just to the south of here which will add some office space and another 275 units on a parcel that sits between elevated rail lines and JFK Blvd., which we would have thought was useless but will also add more density to our urban core. Assuming that a COVID hangover and/or changes to the tax abatement don’t stop this kind of development after 2021, surface parking lots and other underused properties in Center City should be on notice moving forward.