New Philadelphia Family Court Building Celebrates Milestone; Old Building Becomes Hotel
By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
Philadelphia city officials and representatives of the Tishman Construction Corporation gathered last week to attend a topping-off ceremony for the new Family Court building that is under development at the northwest corner of 15th and Arch streets. Construction for the $160 million courthouse building started in early 2012 under plans designed by EwingCole, a locally based architecture firm that provides services for various project types including academic, corporate, government, healthcare, science, technology, arts and sports.
According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the 14-story structure—which is replacing an old parking lot in Center City—is expected to open in spring 2014. At 510,000 square feet, the new facility will be housed under the same roof as the Family Court’s operations, which are currently operating in several facilities near 11th and Market Streets and in an old building located at 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Designed to pursue LEED Silver certification, the new courthouse building will encompass 29 court rooms, judges’ chambers and administrative space. It will also have a three-level underground parking garage with 285 spaces owned and operated by the city’s Parking Authority.
As for the old Family Court building at 18th and Parkway Streets, the city is planning to redevelop the site into a small-sized hotel with 200 to 300 guest rooms that would increase pedestrian traffic along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
In an interview for CBS Philly, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Director of Commerce Alan Greenberger said that five developers have been chosen as finalists for the redevelopment project. The developer is expected to be named by fall 2013, with a tentative ground breaking date set for spring 2014 when the building is vacated.
Rendering of the new Philadelphia Family Court via EwingCole