The Museum Towers at 1801 Buttonwood St. in Center City offer city views that could be taken as photographs and hung on walls in slim quarters. Now its owners, Forest City, have plans to develop Museum Towers II.

Towers I

Towers II would mean the erection of a similar 16-story building, according to Logan Square Neighborhood Association zoning chair Ed Panek, who said the project has no timetable or renderings as of yet. The developers, who acquired the property years ago from the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, came to LSNA before they applied for permits, “which is what they should do,” said Panek.

The new tower would be constructed on a parking lot between 18th and 19th Streets between the Museum Towers I and Baldwin Park. Because it’s closer to CCP, “I don’t think it gives the near neighbors a whole lot of problems,” said Panek. There was an issue with the building of a four-story garage associated with the project fronting 19th St., but the developers plan to wrap town homes around the garage. The project requires variances due to zoning restrictions that limit the buildings to a height of 125 feet.

Site of future tower, viewed from 19th St.

View from 18th St. Museum Towers I in the background

The question now is what the town homes will look like and how the streets will be animated, according to Panek. To address those matters, Panek is drafting a document to pass among LSNA members to generate discussion and comments. Once the developers “get everything straight with neighbors,” the project should move forward.

“[The developer] is acting in a very responsible fashion,” said Panek.

That’s something we like to hear.

–Lou Mancinelli