Berger Bros. Building in Old City Hurdling Toward Residential Conversion

Mr. Fox

Over the last several months, 229 Arch St. has been experiencing some serious renovations, inside and out. Most recently a Rehab Center and originally built as a home to the Berger Bros. tinnery (like a tannery but better smelling), the building will soon be home to dozens of new Old City residents.

In September
Old signage

Originally, Berger Development had proposed a larger, bolder project for this site, but OCCA meeting minutes indicate that a planned residential tower was scrapped due to economic reasons. Nevertheless, the developers appear to be crafting a responsible, attractive, and compelling adaptive reuse, with help from architects Cecil Baker & Partners.

Recent shot shows a cleaned up building and the Betsy Ross House next door

The building has been dubbed 229 Arch: A Boutique Residence. According to its website, the project will include 65 rental apartment units, ranging in size from 700 to 1300 sqft, with prices starting at $1,350/mo. Many of the units will include original architectural features, as is common in this kind of rehab. The building itself will have some unique offerings, to go along with an onsite fitness center, virtual concierge, and community gathering room features that we're seeing as standard in many new construction and rehab projects these days.

Perhaps most unique will be the lavish onsite landscaped courtyard, which will supposedly give a "back yard" feeling to residents. A private dog run at the property will also surely be appreciated by canine-loving residents. A retail space on the first floor is currently for lease, which would seem like an ideal spot and size for a new restaurant.

Closeup of the commercial space. Note that the old signs have sadly been covered.

It's looking like this project will be wrapping up in the next few months, though we're guessing any commercial tenant will not be open when the building is ready for residents. Still, we're enthused to see this repurposing of an old building for residential use, like so many of its peers in Old City. Pretty soon, there won't be any such buildings left to convert in this part of town, but we're not there quite yet.