This spring, we took you on a magical mystery tour of development, with our final stop coming at what we called “Lower Northern Liberties.” For alliteration’s sake, we couldn’t help today but to shorten the area to “SoNo” – or “Southern Northern Liberties.” We wince as we type it out, but the area itself elicits the exact opposite response, with construction activity taking place as far as the eye can see. Our focus today is at 200 Spring Garden St., which is the first step in National Real Estate Development/Kushner Real Estate Group‘s reinvention of 2nd Street. And this first step has just reached a major milestone, as the 13-story, mixed-use tower designed by Handel Architects is now topped off, framed up, and seeing plenty of window and facade work.

A brilliant summer sky frames the topped-out apartment tower on the SW corner of 2nd & SG
A rendering shows what the completed look will be

360 units, a flagship City Fitness, and 5,415 sqft of retail space fronting both 2nd and Spring Garden are just some of the key features of what’s being called The Noble. Progress has been steady since our visit late last year, with the structure now towering above the Spring Garden MFL station close by. As a reminder, this is just the first of several phases to this project, which has hopes to change 2nd street from this corner south to Callowhill Street. The plans for this L-shaped structure also include a public park on the western edge of the property, which would connect with a pedestrian walkway that will (hopefully) one day parallel 2nd Street.

Looking SE across Spring Garden St.
A rendering of the future ground-level experience
Moving to the SW corner of the site, looking back towards Spring Garden at part of the planned walkway
A closer look at the rounded corner
We could see one large or two smaller retail spaces anchor the corner
...and a gratuitous pool/skyline shot

While the design looks good in renderings, it looks even more impressive in person. This presents both as understated and bold, with the simple fenestration patterns and monochromatic dark brick giving way to the prominent rounded corner, the wave-like cornice at the peak, and the massive steel structure at the NW corner. And excitingly, three other projects are in different stages of progress within view of this very corner.

Looking to the east at more construction, under the Spring Garden Connector
A look at what's coming

The RiverMark Northern Liberties project is well above ground now, changing the former Festival Pier into a mixed-use mini-neighborhood with oodles of retail. 470 units are coming here, as well as some gorgeous new public art. This project will see the southern building wrap up in Q3 2024, with the second phase north building set to be ready in Q1 2025.

Looking west down Spring Garden St. shows another tower
A rendering of the future SE corner of 5th & Spring Garden

Two blocks or so to the west, another tower is helping the project at 416-38 Spring Garden St. come to life. This is another mixed-use apartment project, with 329 units and 15K sqft of commercial space joining this extremely busy corner. Expect to see the first residents here sometime in 2024.

South on 2nd, another property is cleared and ready to go
Another tower (far left) is slated to rise as Phase 2

Finally, to the south is 2nd & Callowhill, which should be Phase 2 for this East Market reprise. This site was cleared earlier this year, and 23 stories and 397 units should form the southern bookend for the neighborhood, with the developers eying acquiring and developing the properties between these in-progress corners. Though no work has taken place beyond demo, this bodes well for this exciting next piece of the puzzle. N. 2nd St. is pretty terrible right here, so landscaping, retail, and more pedestrians should greatly improve this off-ramp adjacent stretch. Here’s to the future of SoNo. </wince>