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May. 9, 2013

Apartment Conversion Started on Historic Philadelphia Landmark

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

Philadelphia—Federal Capital Partners, Cross Properties and Alterra Property Group have teamed to renovate and convert the Philadelphia landmark 1616 Walnut Street to 206 luxury apartments in the historic Center City neighborhood.

When finished, the property will be rebranded Icon and will consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom residences and will boast 300-degree skyline views from a new private sky deck, complete with BBQ stations, outdoor fireplaces and heat lamps. The property will also include 23,000 square feet of retail space and approximately 150 parking spaces.

“It offers one-of-a-kind architecture and location, top-class renovation and amazing views. It’s true urban living at its very best,” Lacy Rice, Federal Capital Partners’ managing partner, tells MHN. “This was an investment in a well-located property with excellent local partners and the opportunity to re-purpose a great building into a property that is highly appealing to residents and contributes to the community around it. It’s very consistent with FCP’s focus.”

The units will feature nine-foot ceilings, stainless steel, Energy Star appliances, quartz kitchen countertops, stone bathroom countertops with designer under-mounted sinks and spacious closets.

The 100 percent smoke-free building will also feature Wi-Fi lounges and conference rooms, a gourmet demonstration kitchen for private functions, a club/gaming room, a large screen media room, a massage room, a fully equipped fitness center, yoga studio, pet grooming station, bike shop and storage.

According to Rice, in today’s world, Icon is a more appropriate use for the location and fits with the needs of a revitalized downtown. Situated just steps from Rittenhouse Square, the community is close by the high-end retail, dining and shopping district.

“There is great demand for an authentic urban lifestyle with a walkable downtown, abundant retail and restaurants, easy access to transportation options and easily accessible to work,” Rice says. “This trend is evident in major cities throughout the U.S. and Philadelphia has done a terrific job of supporting the development needed to make it happen here.”

Constructed in 1929, 1616 Walnut Street was lauded as an architectural marvel at the time, receiving top honors at the 12th International Buildings Congress in Budapest. It is listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.

Much attention was paid to preserving the historic elements, including the use of ornate wood-paneled walls and ceiling and more than 1,300 historic replica windows installed in concert with the exacting restoration of façade metalwork and the main lobby.

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