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Apr. 10, 2014

Aquinas Realty Partners Breaks Ground on Philadelphia Community

By Joshua Ayers, Senior Editor

Philadelphia—Aquinas Realty Partners, along with Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, City Council President Darrell Clark and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA), hosted a groundbreaking event yesterday for a redevelopment project located at 2017-2023 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.

The project, dubbed AQ Rittenhouse, will replace a blighted former YWCA annex. The new 12-story luxury tower will include 110 luxury units and a mixed-use component with ground-floor restaurant and retail. An adjacent charter school, Freire Charter High School, will occupy a lower level of the building that will feature expanded space and modern amenities.

“Removing blight is vital to revitalizing Philadelphia and replacing the dilapidated building that was here with housing, retail and a top-notch charter school is a major step forward for this street, this neighborhood, and this city,” Nutter says. “This development means construction jobs and permanent jobs, and is another piece in the revitalization of Chestnut Street.”

Once complete, AQ Rittenhouse will feature more than 120,000 square feet and will offer a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans. Each unit will vaunt hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and in-unit washer and dryer. Select units will feature Juliet balconies.

Common areas will include a central courtyard and second floor garden, as well as a sky terrace featuring panoramic views of the neighborhood and the Philadelphia skyline that will feature a hot tub, grills and fire pits. Other services will include a 24-7 doorman, a concierge lobby, fitness center, dog wash room, bike storage and repair shop.

“The building will be the next evolution of apartment design in Philadelphia, focused on renters that prefer quality and community,” says Michael Ytterberg, Ph.D., AIA, LEED AP and principal at Philadelphia-based BLT Architects (BLTa). “The space will be dense, urban and cool with a façade of glass and metal. It is our hope that they will take advantage of the incredible neighborhood and think of themselves as part of the fabric of the urban environment.”

Aquinas, which purchased the building from the PRA, expects the building to be ready for occupancy by late fall 2014 and is targeting the United States Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification. BLTa and Doylestown, Penn.-based Stampfl Associates provided the design for the development.

“This building will dramatically change the western stretch of Chestnut Street, transforming it to reflect the luxury and style of nearby Rittenhouse Square,” says Aquinas President Leonard S. Ponica. “Aquinas is grateful for the partnerships forged with the City of Philadelphia, PRA, Center City Residents Association (CCRA), and Girard Estate under the direction of the Board of City Trusts, and Freire Charter School. It’s a fantastic location in a neighborhood where the variety of apartments and the new street level retail/restaurant space that AQ Rittenhouse will provide is in high demand.”

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