Work From Home Growth Leading to Pivot at 2301 JFK?

PMC Property Group currently has two residential towers under construction in the Logan Square neighborhood which will combine for 711 units and will also bring a new grocery store to the area. These towers are together known as the Riverwalk project, and when we visited the project a few weeks ago, the southern tower was getting cladding installed while the northern tower hadn’t yet risen from its base. While we’ve been pleased at the progress here, we’ve felt like something was missing here since the project was announced. You may remember, before PMC bought this property, another developer was planning three towers on this site– and we always sort of wondered if and when the shoe would drop on the southern portion of this property, awkwardly shaped and pinned between JFK Blvd. and elevated regional rail tracks.

Aerial of the site

In January, the Inquirer shared the news that PMC was indeed planning a third Riverwalk tower on the southern side of the property which would offer office space, not apartments. The plans were fluid, with the potential for a building between 200K and 500K sqft, and PMC was still searching for a lead tenant to lease at least 75K sqft before firming up the design for the building. It’s a good thing they didn’t spend too much time finalizing this concept, because things have changed in a big way in the office world since the middle of March. Thanks to COVID, many of us have been working from home, and a new office tower has never made less sense than it does today. And we have to hand it to PMC, they sure know how to pivot.

Renderings
View from JFK Blvd.
From the other direction

Thanks to the CDR submission, we know that the third Riverwalk building at 2301 JFK Blvd. will be residential, not office, and we know what kind of building to expect as well. The project will rise 22 stories, with 56 parking spots in the flood zone “basement” level, about 25K sqft of office space on the first and second levels, and 275 apartments on the upper floors. We’d have appreciated another 14 units to bring the total unit count up to 1000 across the three buildings, but our absurd preference for round numbers notwithstanding, this is undeniably exciting news.

We’re especially looking forward to the street life this project will add to a moribund section of JFK which is primarily used to get to 30th Street Station as quickly as possible. We would have maybe preferred some retail on the first floor, but at least the unusual looking curvy building and the people using it will increase foot traffic and add interest to a very bleak stretch. And we should say, kudos to Solomon Cordwell Buenz for designing one of the cooler looking new construction buildings we’ve seen in recent memory. Let’s hope the reality resembles the renderings.

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