A groundbreaking ceremony at the Episcopal Cathedral site in the University City district marked the official start of construction at 38Chestnut, a long-awaited high-rise apartment tower targeting graduate students and young professionals.
A nearly $100 million investment by a joint venture between Wayne-based Radnor Property Group and the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, the project stirred much debate among residents and members of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia regarding the historic Cathedral building located at 38th and Chestnut Streets, where the apartment tower is set to rise.
Earlier this year Radnor Property Group, the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral and the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia reached an agreement that guaranteed the long-term care and preservation of the cathedral building, but allowed the demolition of two historic brownstones located at 3723-25 Chestnut Street to make room for the new construction. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the land being developed is owned by the Episcopal Cathedral Center with a long term ground lease that favors Radnor Property Group.
Encompassing more than 300,000 square feet of mixed-use space, 38Chestnut was designed by Bower Lewis Thrower Architects (BLTa). The 25-story tower will be ready for occupancy in the third quarter of 2015, according to the developer’s website. 38Chestnut will include 276 market-rate apartments—a mix of studios, one bedroom and two-bedroom units—as well as nearly 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, a fitness center, rooftop deck and underground parking. Around 30,000 square feet will accommodate offices for the cathedral, a childcare center for 110 children and a community center.
Rendering courtesy of BLTa