“Adaptive reuse” is one of our favorite phrases to hear when it comes to development in Philadelphia. These two little words typically imply that a piece of the city’s architectural past is being retained, while also boosting functionality for the 21st century. 2100-12 Arch St. might not seem like a candidate for this, given that it’s the recent home to the Jewish Community Services Building that is part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. However, the organization recently sold the site to local developers MMPartners, who have a history of updating older buildings and giving them new life.

Current view from 21st & Arch, looking SW
View of the Arch St. side of the building, combining old and "new"
A closer look at the front courtyard area along Arch
View of the back of the building, which faces the rail tracks

We are extremely excited to see this building get a new life, especially in such a central location. 120 new units and ground floor commercial space will further help activate this area, and liven up a Logan Square block that’s sleepier than you might expect. Something that excites us even more is the small sliver of land across from the back of the property. This slim stretch of land is owned by developers PMC Property Group, a developer that also own the rights on the other side of the tracks, allowing them to construct a two-block overbuild. And according to a recent article from PBJ, it seems as if those plans might eventually come to fruition. If PMC’s other project just to the west at 2301 JFK Blvd. is any indication, it could be truly transformational for the neighborhood.

A look at the property next door, which straddles the tracks
An aerial look at the area, with the potential overbuild area highlighted

While we are daydreaming of a River City revival, we can scoot to 20th & Arch to see another project already underway. Construction was busy at this future home to insurance giant Chubb, with Parkway teaming up with L2P (now a part of Stantec) for the design. This will bring us an 18-story office tower with some ground floor retail space. The construction team is currently in the process of excavating the site before things can start going vertical, now that the historic gas station on site has been moved to its new home in Fairmount Park.

View from 20th & Cuthbert - a massive hole
Another view of the progress, with 2100 Arch in the back to the right
A look at the future office tower

It’s still incredible to us how a seemingly “mature” neighborhood like Logan Square can still be the center for such a huge amount of development. It goes to show that with a little creativity and a vision, opportunities are out there, sometimes hiding in plain sight.