Before the bubble burst on the economy back in 2008, there were a ton of development proposals on the boards. Some of them were eventually built, but many never made it past the planning stages. One such project concerned 709 Penn St., also known as Pier 35 1/2, and came from a company affiliated with some dude currently running for President.

Rendering of the Trump Tower

The Trump Tower would have risen up to 45 stories and was to include 225 apartments. Tennis courts, too. And a cigar lounge, of course. But… none of it happened. According to a report from the Inquirer, new owners stepped in earlier this year, paying only $2.4M for the 2+ acre site. This parcel came to our attention recently when we noticed signs on the property advertising that it's for sale. And it can be yours, for the low price of $12.5M!

For Sale signs

According to the listing, you can construct a 468K building on this site by right. That could take the form of a five story building, a ten story building, or something smaller and less dense. In the listing, the current owners suggest a 50 unit townhome development with parking. That translates into roughly $250K per lot which might be a workable price, but we also have no idea what kind of engineering expenses are involved in building homes on a pier in the Delaware River.

Site plan from the listing

Any development would be a positive for this area, though we wonder whether townhomes would be the highest and best use for this particular parcel. Residential towers might not necessarily the way to go either, especially if you consider the challenges experienced at the Waterfront Square development immediately to the north. And with Sugarhouse just a few minutes away and the new Fillmore Philly nearby as well, maybe a rental play would make the most sense here. Perhaps the mixed-use plan for the admittedly larger Festival Pier next door would serve as a reasonable template.

But of course, before any decisions can be made on what will happen with this site, a new buyer will have to come forward. And if nobody is interested at the listed price, perhaps the current owners will change course and build something themselves. What do you think would be an ideal project for this location?