The other day we were ambling around Old City and found a giant hole at 2nd & Race. We've been doing this real estate blogging thing for years and can't think of many holes we've been happier to see in person. See, this one has been in the works for a really long time.
Our compadre over at the Philly Business Journal, Natalie Kostelni, had the scoop on the groundbreaking for the Bridge on Race Street back in August. In her story, she noted that Brown Hill Development bought the property fifteen years ago and that their plans for the property changed over time. A decade ago, plans emerged for a ten-story condo building but then the financial meltdown happened and the project landed on the shelf.
Something resembling the current project was first proposed back in 2012, and the design felt like a modernist deconstruction of industrial buildings, a project that seemed almost like it would have been more at home in the Meatpacking District than in Old City. Plan Philly loved it. Inga loved it too. Old City Civic Association didn't love it so much, but they folded in 2013.
And then a curmudgeonly billboard held up the project for a bit longer.
Finally, in the summer of 2014, we felt confident that this thing was gonna happen. Yeah, it took another year until the shovels finally got into the ground, but what's one more year after waiting for the previous fourteen? In the not-too-distant future, we'll see a 17-floor, 200-foot apartment building rise here. Look for 146 apartments and over 13K sqft of retail space. The original proposal had red cladding, and the metallic cladding might be a bit of a step down, but it’ll hopefully still have enough of a contrast with the glass to keep that handsome deconstruction effect going. Set literally right next to the Ben Franklin Bridge, the Bridge will have a commanding view over all of Old City as well as the Delaware and Camden — which does admittedly look better from afar.
We can’t wait to see what this one’ll look like in person when it’s done, but if it comes out anywhere near as snazzy as the renderings, we're all in for a treat. According to the project website, look for construction to wrap up at the end of next year.