Second Tower in the Works at 5th & Spring Garden

In the last couple weeks, we’ve shared news about three big projects in the works in Northern Liberties, south of Spring Garden. First we told you about a pair of towers from National and KRE, with 14-story building planned at 2nd & Spring Garden and a 23-story building coming to 2nd & Willow, as part of a combined development plan along N. 2nd Street. Then we told you about plans for a 7-story tower at 5th & Callowhill from developer Neal Rodin, adding to the mix in this part of the neighborhood. Together, these three buildings will add just under a thousand units to an area that’s been dominated by light industrial and commercial uses for decades, collectively changing the face of the southern section of Northern Liberties.

We hinted that we’d have more to share, and now here we are, with some more news to pass along about new development plans on the “wrong” side of Spring Garden Street. The newest property in question is 416 Spring Garden St., which is currently home to a one-story building and a surface parking lot on a parcel that measures about an acre and a half. The building has been the headquarters of Northeast Treatment Centers since at least the mid-1990s, offering crucial services to the community in terms of mental health, child support, and addiction recovery. We don’t know where this organization will be moving, but we’re hopeful that the sale of this property will go toward the establishment of a new home with funds to spare, to further their mission.

The property

While we appreciate and greatly respect the work of NET Centers, we also recognize that a one-story building is no longer the highest and best use for a property at 5th & Spring Garden. We suspect that the organization recognizes this to be the case as well, which is why they’re selling their property to developers. Those developers, per a recent email from NLNA, are planning to demolish the building currently on the site and replace it with a 137′ tower with 330 apartments, 87 parking spaces, and retail on the first floor. For those keeping track of the math, this project would mean a total of roughly 1,300 new units for southern Northern Liberties, with more sure to follow.

While we’re counting new units in this neighborhood, we might as well re-up the project coming soon just across the street, on the northwest corner of 5th & Spring Garden. The developers only recently completed the acquisition of that property, and as a result we should soon see demolition and then construction move forward. We’ve long awaited the demolition of this unfortunate shopping center, and we are extremely excited by the 12-story, 382-unit building that will replace it. That project will also be the home of the first Amazon Grocery store in Philadelphia, which should be a terrific perk for the people already living in the neighborhood and all the folks that will move here in the next few years.

Shopping center across the street
Project rendering

Of course, all those people will need someplace to grab a beer, which makes us think that the folks at Yards must be positively jubilant about these upcoming changes. Remember, the Yards brewery and brewpub is located at the southwest corner of 5th & Spring Garden, having moved there a few years back.

Yards, to the west

We would argue that Yards is probably no longer the highest and best use at this location, despite it making all kinds of sense when the move happened just a few years ago. Yards outgrew their Delaware Ave. facility not so long ago, so it’s certainly possible they could outgrow this building as well, though the Target location in the southern section of the property would seem to make demolition unlikely any time soon. We’ll never say never, though.