400+ Unit Upgrade Progressing at 12th & Sansom

Sansom Street, at least through much of Center City, is one of the more unusual roads we can think of. Part street, part alley, part hidden gem, this is one of the few streets in the heart of Philly where you feel like you can really disappear. Sometimes that’s in a good way (strolling along the pedestrian-friendly strips of restaurants), and other times in a not-so-good way (literally dodging cars while avoiding dumpsters). However, there are now multiple projects underway up and down Sansom, and today we are stopping by 123 S. 12th St., right at the corner of 12th & Sansom, to check in on one of them. We last discussed this project in Spring 2021, when a new owner presented a new design to Civic Design Review.

An aerial of the former design
The street level view of the former design
A view of the ground floor of the current design
Current view from the corner of 12th & Sansom

Developer Greystar is now well underway on this project, designed by STUDIOS Architecture and BLTa. This former parking garage will soon be a 20-story, 412-unit, mixed-use building. Nearly 100 parking spots will also be included in this project, which sits directly adjacent to the exploding Washington Square West/Market East neighborhood. Originally proposed to be a senior-focused community, plans now call for market-rate apartments instead.

View from 12th & Moravian
View looking west on Sansom St.
Future view from the same spot
Another view shows off balconies
Renderings from 11th & Sansom shows how this tower will be prominent in this location

This is a huge and needed addition to the area in our opinion. Replacing a parking garage with over 400 apartments in a rapidly growing and extremely desirable neighborhood definitely makes sense to us. And with all of this development in seemingly every direction, it makes us wonder about the parking lot at 1111 Sansom St., just across from where this is rising.

Parking lot across Sansom, with an Amy Sherald mural on the western-most wall
"The Promise of Biotechnology" is on the opposite wall

This CMX-5 zoned lot is nearly 15K sqft and currently serves as surface parking. We would have to imagine that developers also have their eye on this enticing parcel, which features two lovely murals on either side of the parking lot. While we would be sad to see these wonderful works covered (or even better, create a design to show them off!), we won’t be surprised if we see a proposal for this large lot sooner than later given the incredible amount of momentum in the neighborhood.