Sprinting towards completion, Wharton Street Lofts project in South Philadelphia is nearly fully leased and offers one of the best unobstructed views of the skyline, along with 45 modernized apartments that incorporate elements of the building's educational past. Curbed recently got an all-access pass and snapped a few shots of the building's rebirth.
Built in 1908 as the James Wilson School before becoming the Annunciation School, the building itself served the developing minds of South Philadelphia for 104 years before closing its doors in June 2012. Alterra Property Group (the developer also responsible for the renovation of ICON at 1616 Walnut) stepped in and started the process of redeveloping the old school building into affordable residential rental units just a few blocks away from the bustling scene at Passyunk Square. The developers are committed to the neighborhood too, evident by a $100,000 donation to the nearby Andrew Jackson School, along with holding an upcoming cocktail party to raise funds for a new playground.
Wharton Street Lofts features studios, 1BR, and 2BR units, all of which preserve the character of the building's old classrooms by preserving elements like chalkboards and original finishes. Amenities include a green roof with one hell of a view accessible to all tenants, a 24-hour on-site gym, keyless entry for unit doors, a security system that features more than 30 cameras throughout the building, central air/heating, high efficiency washers and dryers, and immediate access to Columbus Square Park.
Residents have already begun moving in as construction work nears the finish line. According to the website, 40 of the 45 total units have already been leased, and the remaining five range in price from $1775 to $2650 per month. This project proves that residential redevelopment is a feasible concept for some of the vacant school buildings that the district has yet to find buyers for.
[Photos by the author]
· Wharton Street Lofts [Official]