M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal — Pennsylvania — November 11 - 24, 2016 — 5C


P ennsylvania Willow Management Corporation Along Callowhill Street, a plan to link and revitalize

A rchitect Cecil Baker has learned to stop worry ing and l ove aboveground parking. Or at least accept it. Baker has included a three- story parking structure in his design for two soaring residen- tial towers proposed between Third and Fourth Streets on Callowhill St. that the North- ern Liberties Neighborhood Association plans to review Monday night. It's a shift for the designer, known for the studious take- downs of car-centric develop- ment he delivers from his seat on Philadelphia's Civic Design Review board. In an interview, Baker said he aims to make the project a major catalyst for development in the unrevitalized district between Old City and Northern Liberties. The parking decks are a need- ed concession, he said, for the success of a project that could help pave the way for a pedes- trian-friendly future in a part of central Philadelphia still highly auto-dependent. "There was the challenge of relinking the city, and that led to the idea of more density," Baker said. "Our charge was to get density, to get activity on Fourth St., to rekindle life on Willow St., and to make Cal- lowhill ultimately a pleasing gateway to the city." The project, called 4th + Cal- lowhill, takes advantage of legislation passed late last year that rezoned the area bounded by Second, Sixth, Spring Gar- den, and Callowhill Streets from industrial to mixed use. The idea was to restore St. life to a district of parking lots, industrial build- ings, and strip-center retail by injecting residential density. The towers get their height - 24 and 27 stories - from bonuses in the rezoning statute that allow projects with stormwater- management infrastructure, open space, and other traits to include extra units. Paul Levy, president of the Center City District business as- sociation, said the towers would encourage spillover from Old City to the south and Northern Liberties to the north by serving as a visual draw. Plans call for 454 residential units, 233 parking spots on four levels (one underground), 5,000 s/f of ground-floor retail, and a sprawling public green space that filters water into a drain- age tunnel running through the area.

Mark Rubin, owner and de- veloper of the site that now accommodates parking lots and a five-story office building, said he had not determined how many units will be rentals and how many will be for sale. The main entrance would face Willow St., a narrow, winding thoroughfare north of traffic-choked Callowhill, seen as a future neighborhood main St. if development takes off. “We are trying to create a new neighborhood,” Rubin said. “Right now, it’s a no-man’s land at night, but this will change that.”

For Baker, the project has required a different plan for parking than the underground approach he was able to deploy at other big residential ven- tures, such as the 500 Walnut and One Riverside condo build- ings. Rubin’s potential co-devel- opers and financial backers said ample parking was a vital selling point, given the project’s location beside a major high- way and the lack of amenities within easy walking distance. Since more than one level of below-grade parking would have impeded the drainage tun-

nel, Baker said, he was forced to design the aboveground garage. The upside was a pool deck atop the parking structure with views unbroken by the Vine St. Expressway. The sides of the parking struc- ture, meanwhile, are exposed to the St. only on Callowhill, op- posite an expressway overpass, with its three other edges set within the residential towers. Adelman, J. (2016, Sept. 26, 2016) Along Callowhill St., a plan to link and revitalize. Philly.com. Retrieved from http://www.philly.com/philly/busi- ness/real_estate/commercial/20160926_ Along_Callowhill_Street__a_plan_to_ link_and_revitalize.html. n

Callowhill St. rendering


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