Renderings Make Expected Southern Northern Liberties Projects Feel More Real

Last week, we gave you the heads up about plans for two sizable new buildings on the southern side of Northern Liberties, in an area currently dominated by light industrial and commercial buildings. To refresh your memory, those plans call for a 14-story building with 355 units and 105 parking spots at the corner of 2nd & Spring Garden, and a 23-story building with 397 units and 106 parking spots at 2nd & Willow. We told you that National Real Estate Development is the developer behind this project, ostensibly looking to replicate their East Market neighborhood transformation success story in another part of town.

It should come as no surprise that more information has come around for this project in the last few days, given the size and importance of the development. In advance of the project’s community presentation tonight, a contributor to Skyscraper Page found a short informational packet which provides some additional information. First, we see that National isn’t the only developer approaching this site- they are joined by Kushner Real Estate Group (KRE), a developer that likewise has a successful track record delivering large new construction apartment buildings. To be clear, this is not Kushner Companies, which previously owned the Piazza, but a different company owned by a different side of the family.

In addition to gaining some new context on the development team, we also managed to get renderings, to give us a sense of how the new buildings will look. Handel Architects did the design work, adding to their portfolio in Philadelphia, joining their Columbus Blvd. project from the Durst Organization. To their credit, they’ve designed a pair of buildings that appear to be compatible with each other, but remain quite distinct.

2nd & Spring Garden
Project rendering
2nd & Willow
Project rendering

As we said before, these projects are permitted as a matter of right, so the only reason they’re coming to the community is to check a box ahead of Civic Design Review. So there’s no risk that the project will be derailed by a permitting issue. Sure, there are many steps that will need to be taken in the coming months to get the project from plans to construction, but we imagine things will move along expeditiously from this point. We could see construction here as soon as the beginning of next year, and when that comes to pass, we think it’ll be open season for redevelopment in this part of town. Kind of crazy just how much opportunity there can be when an underdeveloped section of town has the proper zoning for redevelopment, right? Looking at you, Washington Avenue.