While all of the stops on the previous (and future) legs of our development tour featured large projects, today we’re looking at a project so big that it pretty much creates a new neighborhood. Piazza Alta includes several buildings, adding 1,131 units to the large Piazza complex. Though the address at 1104 N. Hancock St. makes the project seem quite small, the property actually covers several blocks and was a huge, empty field that briefly served as a pop-up beer garden as recently as a few years ago. Of course, go a little further back in history and it was a portion of the Schmidt’s Brewery. As you can see in the map below, this is a key property for tying together Northern Liberties with the nearby Girard Ave. MFL stop.

Rendering looking NE across the Germantown Ave. woonerf

Things have been full steam ahead on this project for a while, and residents have started moving into Piazza Alta since our last visit. The Germantown Ave. woonerf is open to both pedestrian and car traffic, and construction is rapidly approaching the finish line.

These plans from Post Brothers and the BKV Group are big, and this is just one part of an even larger master plan for the area. As you can see in the aerial below, there is a mass of new structures which will include both pedestrian and commercial uses.

For those who need a refresher, this is a high-end project, with quality materials and finishes used throughout. The design is a blend of industrial and modern, integrating nicely with the existing architecture from Piazza, Round 1 that sits next door. The actual build is looking very much like the renderings, which is always encouraging. The mix of materials and colors also helps keep the project from feeling like an amorphous blog of building, making it less intimidating from a pedestrian experience than it would have otherwise. And while there isn’t a structure topping the 200-foot mark, these new additions have added a new central point in the Riverwards.

The interiors feature clean, Scandanavian-inspired designs, with light and warm materials set off by the large amounts of light. Additionally, the units have access to a host of amenities, including a fitness club, dog park, children’s playground and more. Units are available now for lease at a wide range or price points, with studios under $2,000 and penthouse units coming in at a shade under $13,000/month for those looking for a more elevated – and pricey – experience.

The most exciting amenity from our perspective, though, absolutely has to be the Digsau-designed rooftop pool club, Aqua Foro. This is going to be a massive area, with landscaping, outdoor dining and seating areas, and that stunning pool, which will include a fire pit on the water.

With the former Vesper Day Club now demo’ed to make room for a rowhome project we just visited, Aqua Foro is sure to become one of the new hotspots for the bold and beautiful in NoLibs. The Grecian vibes paired with the modern design will make this space ideal for lounging and seeing/being seen. As the shots below show, this will be a stunning hangout either day or night, and the video below gives an even better idea of what sort of fun lies ahead here.

Not too bad, huh? As rental season starts to ramp up, we expect to see more and more signs of life over the coming months as residents continue to fill the apartments. We still have no word as of yet what sort of commercial tenants will line the ground levels of these new buildings, but we would imagine that the huge influx of new people will (hopefully) help lead to these spots being filled before long. Our new unit count total? With these 1,131 units joining the mix, we have now visited 1,966 units at the halfway point of our journey. The truly wild part? There are over 3,700 more units to visit across the rest of our stops, so keep an eye out for plenty more very, very soon.