Over a year ago, we first told you about plans from Bright Hope Baptist Church and the Goldenberg Group to build a large mixed-use development on the 4.6 acre site of the former Wanamaker School at 11th and Cecil B. Moore. At the time, it was understood that the project would move forward in phases, and would incorporate parts of the existing school building into its design. As the school has been fully demolished, those plans have clearly changed.
The original plan for the site included a Green Construction Training Center, an Arts & Education Forum, a charter school, student housing, and public space. According to a press release from the Goldenberg Group, the reimagined project will, at this point, only include a 14 story apartment building with 320K sqft of interior space, 238 apartments, and 11K sqft of ground floor retail. The students who live in the building will have all sorts of amenities, including a 14th-floor lounge, a fitness center, a computer lab, and a study center. 80 parking spaces and 150 bike parking spaces will also be included, along with an outdoor plaza for hanging out and ostensibly studying.
Groundbreaking took place last month, and the project is expected to be finished in time for Fall 2014 occupancy. Worth noting is that this building will only take up about half of the Wanamaker parcel, leaving open the strong probability of additional development at this site in the years to come. And considering the tremendous growth of both Temple University and the surrounding area, we’d be willing to bet the farm that the rest of this land will be developed sooner rather than later. But in the meantime, this looks like a decent start.