Over two years ago, we first broke the news that a mixed-use building would be replacing the long-vacant and blighted YWCA Annex building on the 2000 block of Chestnut Street. Back in January, we told you that demolition efforts were finally underway. And last week, an official groundbreaking took place at 2017-23 Chestnut St. for the building that will eventually be known as AQ Rittenhouse.

In the past

Current view

In case you don't remember the deets (and can't read the sign in the photo above), the project is being developed by Aquinas Realty Partners. The twelve-story building will include 110 apartments and a commercial space on the first floor that's still available for rent, if you're interested. Freire Charter School, located next door, will expand into the basement of the new building, providing much needed additional space. The structure was designed by BLT Architects and Stampfl, and will be shooting for LEED Silver certification.

Amenities include a central courtyard and garden on the second floor, and a sky terrace with a hot tub, grills and fire pits. So entertaining should be pretty wonderful here in the warmer months. There will also be a concierge, a fitness center, bike storage and repair, covered car share parking, and a dog wash room. Combine those with the prime location, and you're looking at a very desirable place to live.

Updated rendering

Isn't it wonderful that this project is finally moving forward? After decades of vacancy at this site, we'll soon have vibrancy, energy, people, and commerce. And if you considering the number of additional apartment buildings that have gone up in the area in the last couple of years, it's clear that this part of Center City is in the middle of a little boom. We can't wait to see what's up next.