Philadelphia’s 10 Largest Communities Under Development

From Center City to the suburbs, developers find rising demand for live-work-play environments. Luxury high-rises, student housing and creative redevelopments lead the list.

The Philadelphia multifamily market continues to present strong fundamentals in 2018, despite a rent growth of 1.9 percent, 60 basis points below the national average as of April. The metro is currently experiencing a construction boom, thanks to the strong influx of Millennials moving into the city. Since 2010, multifamily completions have steadily increased, reaching a peak in 2017, when roughly 5,000 rental units were delivered. This year development is unlikely to hit that high mark again, but with almost 9,000 units underway in the metro, construction activity will remain elevated.

The development pipeline in Philadelphia’s suburban submarkets has had a steadier increase over the cycle, while urban areas have relatively held steady for several years. This list highlights the 10 largest communities currently under development in the metro area, six of which are situated within the market’s core areas, while the remaining four are being built in the suburbs. Mixed-use projects are on the rise, with many entries on the list being incorporated into large live-work-play developments. All data for the piece was provided by Yardi Matrix.

10. AVE King of Prussia

AVE King of Prussia construction site, image via Google Street View

Korman Communities’ new AVE property is situated at 555 S. Goddard Blvd. in King of Prussia, Pa. The 273-unit Village at Valley Forge is constructed by Bozzuto and Cornerstone Tracy and designed by Bernardon Haber Holloway Architects. Furnished units are available in one- and two-bedroom configurations, while the floorplan mix for unfurnished units consists of studio, one- and two-bedroom options, ranging in size from 603 to 1,414 square feet. AVE King of Prussia will feature a plethora of high-end common amenities, including two courtyards, outdoor pool and bocce court, among other entertainment options.

AVE King of Prussia benefitted from a $65 million construction loan from M&T Bank, according to Yardi Matrix. General contractor Bozzuto has a $56 million contract for Korman’s AVE King of Prussia. Leasing is already underway at the community, with first residents expected later this year. The property is near multiple retailers, restaurants and entertainment destinations, with two large malls within walking distance, and access to major thoroughfares, such as interstates 76, 276 and routes 422 and 202. Lockheed Martin has a facility just minutes away. Other large employers include MedRisk, hibu and GlaxoSmithKline. 

9. The Hamilton – Phase I

This is a student housing community owned by Radnor Property Group and developed in collaboration with Community College of Philadelphia. The college’s long-term ground lease at the site will enable the delivery of luxury apartments at market-rate prices. The project is being constructed in multiple phases, with a total cost of $160 million.

The first phase, totaling 279 units, topped out in April. The Hamilton is located at 1520 Hamilton St., across the street from Community College of Philadelphia. The 10-story building will include 3,000 square feet of retail and feature a floorplan mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units, ranging in size from 329 to 912 square feet. The area features dozens of restaurants, pubs and retailers, as well as immediate access to public transportation and Interstate 676. Leasing is underway at the community, with first move-ins expected in August.

8. NorthXNorthwest

Forest City Residential Group’s luxury tower is a 286-unit expansion of the property situated at 1801 Buttonwood St., also adjacent to Community College of Philadelphia. NorthXNorthwest will comprise studio, one- and two-bedroom units which range in size from 457 to 1,516 square feet. The community will also feature 16 two-story townhomes in addition to the 16-story tower. The ground floor will include approximately 12,000 square feet of retail. These high-end Philadelphia apartments are set to include high-end fixtures and finishes, walk-in closets and wide-plank flooring. Common amenities include a dog park, indoor bike storage, café, lounge with fireplace and library, fitness center and a rooftop terrace.

NorthXNorthwest, image via Google Street View

The $110 million project kicked off construction in 2015 and was finished in March this year. Owner-developer Forest City Residential Group received a $65 million construction loan from M&T Bank for NorthXNorthwest, according to Yardi Matrix. The development added improvements to the nearby Matthias Baldwin Park. Besides Forest City, the team included Perkins Eastman Architects and Urban Engineers. Ownership will seek LEED Silver certification for the project.

7. The Smith

Woodfield Investments’ 320-unit luxury community will be situated within a 122-acre mixed-use project, Village at Valley Forge, also in King of Prussia. The company secured $31 million in equity financing for the project. Located at 580 Goddard Blvd., The Smith will consist of 18 studios, 192 one-, 105 two- and five three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 657 to 1,376 square feet. Washers and dryers will be available in all units, while common-area amenities will include: a fitness center, controlled access, swimming pool, clubhouse, business center and 493 parking spaces.

CBG Building Co. partnered with Woodfield Investments for the sixth time for the construction of The Smith within the mixed-use masterplan. The Village at Valley Forge is near the junction of multiple major highways—interstates 276 and 76 and state routes 202 and 422. The project has entitlements for more than 2,500 residential units, 500,000 square feet of retail, two hotels and 1,000,000 square feet of office and healthcare space.

6. Lincoln Square

This mixed-use development, owned by Kimco Realty Corp. and designed by BLT Architects, is situated within Philadelphia’s Center City District. Lincoln Square consists of 322 units, ranging from 380-square-foot studios to 1,427-square foot three-bedroom units. The Class A property is pet-friendly and features rooftop amenities such as fire pits, open-air lounge, outdoor cinema TV, a fitness area and grills.

Lincoln Square, rendering courtesy of Kimco Realty

Located at 1000 S. Broad St., the community’s residents will have access to restaurants, shops and public transportation. In addition to the neighborhood’s upscale destinations, Lincoln Square will feature more than 100,000 square feet of retail space. The gross cost of the project is estimated at $149 million and is slated to open in late 2018.

5. The Ludlow at East Market

Owned by National Real Estate Advisors, the Ludlow will total 322 units and will be located within a mixed-use development. The $600 million East Market, a 4-acre project spanning an entire city block, broke ground in 2014, with some parts of it still under construction.

The Ludlow East Market; rendering courtesy of National Real Estate Advisors

BLT Architects designed the community, in collaboration with interior design firm K&Co. The Ludlow consists of 31 studios, 262 one-bedroom and 29 two-bedroom units, with an average size of 661 square feet. The 17-story tower will also include 160,000 square feet of retail on the first two floors. Located between 11th, 12th, Market and Chestnut streets, East Market is proximate to central Philadelphia’s major attractions, business district, entertainment and transportation. The Ludlow’s initial phase has already started leasing via Greystar Management.

4. Residences at Concord Plaza

The Buccini/Pollin Group is developing a 341-unit luxury community within Concord Plaza, a 44-acre mixed-use project in Wilmington, Del., at 3515 Silverside Road. The redevelopment was approved last year and will also include 328,186 square feet of retail, 641 parking spaces and an office component. BPGS Construction finished work at the site at the beginning of 2018. Residences at Concord Plaza will comprise four five-story buildings and two four-story buildings, with ground-floor retail and approximately 6,200 square feet of luxury amenities.

Wilmington and New Castle County are in a very densely populated area, with more than 25 percent of the U.S. population within a 300-mile radius. Residents of Concord Plaza can reach Philadelphia in about 40 minutes by car, while New York and Washington are just under two hours away via Amtrak.

3. Franklin Tower Residences

The building situated on the northwest corner of 16th and Race streets was initially built in 1980. PMC Property Group is converting the 24-story tower into a luxury community, with the lower part of the building to feature 250,000 square feet of contiguous office space. The 360 units will be available in one- and two-bedroom configurations. Common amenities will include a fitness center, yoga studio, lounge with table games, roof deck, basketball court, theater and media rooms, business center, bicycle storage and underground parking.

One Franklin Tower, image via Google Street View

The redevelopment comes after GlaxoSmithKline moved its headquarters to another location, in 2012. Eventually, PMC Property Group grabbed hold of the asset and planned a major overhaul. The façade was stripped away and replaced with a glass one, with Gensler architects providing the design. Situated near the very center of Philadelphia, Franklin Tower residents will have immediate access to multiple transit options, as well as dining, shopping, entertainment and employment destinations.


2. The View II

The Goldenberg Group’s latest student housing development will comprise 368 units, with a total of 984 beds, situated next to Temple University. The $199 million project will consist of 12- to 18-story buildings, designed to have maximum visibility of the city and surrounding area. The Goldenberg Group’s other student community, The View at Montgomery, is adjacent to the upcoming one.

Situated at 1101 Cecil B. Ave, The View II will feature immediate access to Temple University and Route 611, which connects the area to downtown Philadelphia. Public transportation is within walking distance, as are the many neighborhood amenities around the university, including several parks. The View II will feature common amenities such as two fitness spaces, lounges, individual study rooms and 94 new parking spaces. It will comprise fully furnished units, with one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom configurations. View II is slated for completion in fall 2019.

1. Jefferson Place Mt. Laurel

The largest community currently under construction in the Philadelphia metro is Jefferson Apartment Group’s 490-unit development in Mt. Laurel, N.J. JAG broke ground in January at the property, which will comprise 21 three-story buildings, ranging in size from 16 to 32 units each. Floorplan mix will consist of one- and two-bedroom units, with sizes from 690 to 1,300 square feet, featuring upscale designs and finishes. Common amenities will include a 7,100-square-foot clubhouse, a swimming pool, fire pits, fitness center, cyber lounge and pub room.

JAG is developing Jefferson Place Mt. Laurel in partnership with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., and D.R. Horton as the contractor. The 77-acre community will include 98 affordable units, for low and moderate-income residents. Jefferson Place Mt. Laurel will be located at the junction of Union Mill and Briggs roads, within minutes of the New Jersey Turnpike. Retailers, restaurants and entertainment destinations are located along Route 38, a few minutes away from the upcoming community. First move-ins are expected in spring 2019, with JAG Management Co. to provide property management services.

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