More Exciting Development Coming Soon to Chestnut St.

The other day, we gave you information about the ongoing demolition and upcoming construction at 2116 Chestnut St., which will ultimately result in ground-floor retail, and 309 rental apartments. Today, we have the scoop on 2017-23 Chestnut St., the blighted former YWCA Annex building just a block away. It’s been vacant since 1991 (!).

Building looks rough
This despite its prime location

The property was acquired by the RDA in 1993, and is finally getting sold in the next few months. The buyer and developer is Aquinas Realty Partners, and they will be purchasing the property for $800K. Aquinas has some development experience in Philadelphia, having developed the Dockside Condominiums, on Delaware Ave.

According to the RDA Board Agenda for December, the developer intends to add several stories to the building, ultimately developing a twelve-story mixed-use property. There will be about 5000 sqft of retail space on the first floor, about 9,600 sqft of educational space in the basement, and 110 apartment units. The educational space will be used by the Freire Charter School, located next door. The development costs will be about $33M.

There’s a rendering on the Aquinas website, though we’re not thrilled with the resolution or convinced that it’s the final plan. The site also suggests that the development will involve only seventy apartments- we’re inclined to believe the RDA numbers on this one.

Possibly what the building will look like

No matter how the details eventually shake out for this project, its redevelopment is wonderful news for Chestnut St. in general. We’ve always wondered why this building was allowed to blight an otherwise quality block for all these years, and it’s extremely satisfying to see it will finally be activated. We’ll try to get some firmer information on this project moving forward and will definitely pass it along.