Washington Square is one of our favorite public spaces in the entire city, forming a quiet respite on the border of the Society Hill and Washington Square West neighborhoods. Though it doesn’t seem to get as much love as Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square’s quiet, tranquil vibe is one that suits the quiet residential streets close by to a T. However, Society Hill hasn’t always been a glamour neighborhood, as it fell on hard times as deindustrialization crept across the city in the early and middle parts of the 20th century. The area was in such disarray, the mayor in the late 50s into the early 60s, Richardson Dilworth, made a statement by building a faux historic home at 223 S. 6th St., on the east side of the square.

In 2001, John Turchi purchased the property, with an eye towards redeveloping the property. Plans changed over the years, with a proposal for a 16-unit building coming before a 10-unit addition was finally approved by the Historical Commission several years back. Since those plans were approved, there has been little action on site… until now. As you can see below, a tower crane now hovers over the site after a recent sale.

A break in the trees shows the tower crane now proudly standing
A closer look at the faux-Colonial Dilworth House
Work has already started on opening up the back of the existing house
Rebar down and ready, as seen from Randoph St.

As the crane shows, things are now full bore here. New owners Astoban Investments are leading the charge, with the plans calling for nine condo units in the project after a recent zoning notice. Astoban has plenty of experience with luxury developments, having been part of additions across the city. For this go-round, they will mostly be utilizing the existing design from Cope-Linder Architects, now a part of Nelson Worldwide. The designs will change slightly according to a recent interview, but the final design should look similar to what we see below, with a 20-car, underground parking garage a prime amenity for this luxury building.

A rendering from Washington Square of the future tower addition
An aerial rendering shows how the tower will abut the adjacent buildings
Elevation drawing shows how the parking garage will be situated below grade

Even with prices that will start in the millions, we would imagine there will be a market for these units, as new construction on Washington Square doesn’t happen very often at all. Views overlooking the park will be incredible, all while sitting in a prime location. And when we consider the success of 500 Walnut around the corner, this seems like a slam dunk (Sorry Sixers fans, we know it’s too soon for a basketball reference).

500 Walnut just around the corner

As an extremely recent sale there shows, even in times of economic uncertainty, there are still people out there who are willing/able to drop $5 million or so on a place to live. And we certainly couldn’t blame someone if they wanted to sit high above one of the premier neighborhoods in the region, enjoying some verdant park views.