About a year ago, we first gave you a little insight into the interesting history of the 1600 block of Sansom Street. To briefly review, Wayne Spilove, then head of the Historical Commission, purchased the non-high-rise buildings on the north side of the block from Sam Rappaport, and proceeded to demolish them all. His plans for a twelve-story parking garage fell through, and an embarrassing surface lot persisted for many years after. Finally, Pearl Apartments stepped forward last year with plans for The Sansom, which would finally fill in this lot in the heart of Center City. And construction is progressing nicely.

This week

A year ago

In October

Recent shot

The last time we checked in on this site was on the day that Federal Donuts opened across the street back in October. At that time, there was lots of framing going on, but you really had to use your imagination to visualize what the building would ultimately look like. Now, the look is really coming into focus for this 104-unit apartment building that will feature a concierge, a fitness center, a residents’ lounge, and bike parking (but no car parking). The first floor, as you would expect, will feature several retail tenants, with at least one restaurant space spoken for by DC steakhouse, Medium Rare.

View from the west, Oakwood Apartments are next door

Rendering of the finished project, in kind of low-res

You may love the look, you may hate it. You may think that they should have provided car parking, or perhaps you agree that it’s better that they didn’t. You may think that Center City is about to be overwhelmed by an avalanche of residential rentals, or you might believe that we can absorb the inventory. But one thing we can all agree on is that it’s a wonderful thing to see this vacant lot filled in at last.

See you at the grand opening in several months? The donuts are on us.