For many years, the former YWCA Annex building sat vacant and blighted at 2021 Chestnut St., begging for redevelopment or demolition. Finally, it came down earlier this year. A few months back, groundbreaking took place for its replacement, AQ Rittenhouse. Passing by last week, we saw active work on the site, with plenty of steel already in place.

Framing underway

Developed by Aquinas Realty Partners, the builing will join the parade of new construction apartment buildings in this area. When it's done, there will be 110 apartments, each of which will enjoy their own Juliet balcony. The range of amenities we've come to expect from buildings like this will be offered as well, along with perhaps too-easy access to the Ranstead Room. The building will also have first-floor retail space, though we haven't heard about any tenants yet. As we've mentioned in the past, design work was done by BLT Architects and Stampfl.

Project rendering

Across the street, a reader gave us the heads up about a new liquor license application where there was once a Utrecht. According to the PLCB website, the applicant is KJ Choi Corporation, which also has an address at 20th & Spruce. Rather than being related to the golfer KJ Choi, we're pretty confident that this a project from the folks that own Food & Friends, the popular deli/grocery/beer place. Could they be looking to replicate their business just a few blocks to the north, or could they be attempting something all-new and all-different? Or could it be something in between? Stay tuned.

Future grocery and beer place?

Right next door, there's a former PHA building that was previously used for office space. Months ago, we found out that they were looking to partner with a developer to either demolish and replace the building or renovate and reuse it.

Former PHA building and lot

At this point, we haven't heard any updates as to whether they've found a partner and if so whether there are any plans on the table. Has anyone out there heard any news on this property?