Now that we’ve navigated #SpookySZN and have started blasting Mariah Carey, we decided to make our way through Rittenhouse to see something decidedly unscary. On a stretch that formerly was best known for its parking garage, the property at 1620 Sansom St. has undergone a major improvement over the last couple of years. We last stopped here about a year-and-a-half ago, when this tower from developers Southern Land Company was about to make its way out of the ground. As you can see below, things look a bit different today.

The view from 17th & Sansom last summer, with a crane where the project would rise
The same view today, this time with a tower instead of a crane

Quite a change over the last 16 months or so, huh? This modern design from Solomon Coldwell Buenz, now called The Josephine, will bring 254 units to this 27-story tower, down from the 310 apartments originally proposed. The tower is now at full height, with most of the glass-heavy facade installed. And while we still await the installation of the ground-level materials, it is exciting to imagine the outdoor pool, sky lounges, and other amenities that will be offered here in the future.

Looking up at the tower from Sansom St.
A rendering shows off the full tower
A look at the progress along the ground level
A look at the future ground level of The Josephine
A closer look at the rendering, which previously showed a reddish hue on the lower level

We are loving the progress here, even if we aren’t fully enamored with the shift away from the warmer colors at the base. Excitingly, we already know that a tapas restaurant will be taking the ground level here, with even more restaurant space available on the second floor. Boqueria will be joining the fold, bringing its Spanish-inspired cuisine and cocktails to the area. And to say that the block is going to feel different in the future is quite the understatement. There is a bunch of work happening just across the street as well, which should keep the street presence here active both day and night.

Renovations happening at 1605-27 Sansom St., just across the street

With these changes happening on both sides of the street, Sansom will happily reconnect with the surrounding neighborhood after several years of being fenced off. This stretch often felt like an alley or service road even before construction began, offering very little in terms of beauty or pedestrian friendliness. We can’t wait until this time next year, when we can hum our favorite seasonal tunes as we saunter down Sansom Street to sample some paella.