Though it was sitting dormant for the last couple years, a sizable project on the 4400 blocks of Chestnut and Ludlow looks to be taking strides toward becoming a reality. It was back in 2015 that we first told you about plans from Orens Brothers for roughly 150 new apartments over two separate buildings on these blockas. Then it was radio silence for awhile, until April, when we brought it back to your attention, noting that the developer was meeting with the community with an eye toward getting ZBA approval. We told you to expect 165 apartments, commercial space, and parking, but didn’t really have too many additional details. Due to the size of the project, it will need to go to Civic Design Review before it goes to the ZBA, and with that information packet now in hand, we can shed some additional light on what we can expect here, assuming the developers get the approvals they’re seeking.

View on Chestnut
View on Ludlow

First, let’s talk about the site. There’s a Chestnut Street portion of the project which only has a small amount of frontage on Chestnut, with the rest fanning out onto the south side of Ludlow Street in the shape of a ‘T.’ The Ludlow Street building will cover a more standard, rectangle-shaped lot.

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Unusual site

Both buildings will rise six stories, quite a height for this location. The Chestnut building will include 110 apartments, 36 parking spaces, and about 10K sqft of retail space, divided between a space on Chestnut Street and a second space at the corner of 44th & Ludlow. The Ludlow building will be smaller, with 55 apartments, 21 parking spots, and a little over 5K of retail space, running along the north side of Ludlow. The current plans show a gym possibly taking that space, which we imagine would be a relocated Fit Gym, currently operating out a building on Chestnut that will be demoed as part of the project. As is always the case with CDR, we have some renderings of the project that we can share, with a h/t to Wulff Architects for their design work.

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Rendering on Chestnut
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Ludlow Street building rendering
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Rendering that looks west on Ludlow
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Aerial view

Looking at the renderings, the heights of the proposed buildings really jump off the page. Though taller buildings connected to Penn are just a few blocks away, this section of Spruce Hill is dominated by low-rise buildings, many of which feature attractive Victorian flourishes. By comparison, these new buildings will be extremely contemporary and kinda tall. Given that the project requires several variances, we’d be a bit surprised if the designs don’t change some as it moves its way through the community process. Or maybe the community is satisfied with the latest iteration of this project. Perhaps someone from the neighborhood can shed some light on the matter?