Orens Brothers Planning Big New Building on Chestnut Street

Still in its early stages, an Orens Brothers proposal for a five-story 150-unit building along the north the side of the 4400 block of Chestnut would require collaboration between numerous parties. The developers are presenting plans for this project at tonight's Spruce Hill Community Association meeting.

Last month, Orens Brothers appeared at the tail end of a community zoning meeting to informally present the plans, and to gauge reactions from neighbors, according to SHCA zoning chair Barry Grossbach. For it to happen, the project would demolish vacant and occupied homes and a building that stretches from Chestnut to Ludlow Street. It would include some PRA-owned properties, according to Grossbach. It's still to be determined how the ownership agreements will work out.

4400 block of Chestnut St.

View on Ludlow St.

Orens Brothers HQ is at 4415 Chestnut St., a big building with a glass facade that also hosts Fit Gym. It would be demolished, and a new company home office would be included in the project, according to West Philly Local. “I told them it was something we would have to discuss at a further meetings,” Grossbach said. Tonight's meeting will give community members a chance to weigh in about the aesthetic and architectural elements, and the size, scope, and style of the project.

“What they own. What they don't own. How many properties on the Ludown St. side …” Grossbach said, are still things he does not know.

The early renderings did include the idea of a bridge over Ludlow Street that Grossbach said SHCA members simply didn't like. Nevertheless, this project could be a major change in this architecturally older neighborhood dominated by three-story buildings, some with bay windows, and most with ground-floor retail.

Orens Brothers proved they can come in and finish a project, completing renovations the Croydon Apartments at 49th & Locust last year. For now we'll wait and see how the official presentation goes regarding this large transformation along the 4400 block of Chestnut. Wanna place some bets about whether people will be jazzed about only 50 parking spots for 150 units?

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