At 21st & Market, it’s like an architectural plastic surgeon showed up and performed an operation on 2040 Market St., the former AAA Mid-Atlantic Headquarters building. What was a standard don’t look twice five-story building is nearing completion of being transformed into a 13-story 281-unit mixed-use building with a glass-faced façade that looks as modern chic as Ray Bans, if buildings were like sunglasses.

In the past

Big changes

The building, still under construction, is now for sale, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports. According to PBJ, the building is expected to sell for a record price that could reach $140M, which breaks down to about $500K per unit. The site was purchased by PMC Property Group in early 2011. By last summer, the exterior had been subjected to the surgeon, if you will, and transformed into its current outfit. The PBJ cites this news as an indication the multifamily market in Philadelphia is heating up, NBA Jam style.

Looking east on Market

Looking north up 21st St.

And there’s plenty of evidence to that point right in the neighborhood, like the projects on both corners of 18th & Arch. And though it seems to be on the back burner, 1919 Market Street will bring even more apartments to the area. One has to wonder whether the next shoe to drop will be west of 21st Street, where the Forum was recently demolished and a surface parking lot has been wasting a valuable location for years. Can Center City support all these new apartment units? Seems that someone may be ready to bet $140M that it can.

–Lou Mancinelli