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Mayor Kenney: Toll Bros. should reconsider plans for Jewelers Row tower

The new tower height is “deeply disturbing”

Last Friday afternoon, Mayor Kenney released his second statement regarding Toll Brothers’ plans to build a condo tower on Jewelers Row, calling their new proposal to double the height “deeply disturbing.”

“I had hoped from our previous conversations that they intended to be a good corporate citizen, injecting much needed investment into the area while still respecting its character, but this information calls that into question,” Kenney said.

The statement follows the latest news that Toll Brothers plans to build a 29-story condo tower on Jewelers Row, instead of the initially proposed 16-story residential building. In addition, the design proposal, which has yet to be released publicly, does not include preservation of the buildings’ facades.

Meanwhile, the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia filed appeals of Toll Brothers’ demolition permits. The appeals for 128 S. 7th Street and 702-10 Sansom Street, were submitted to Licenses & Inspections on Thursday afternoon, Patrick Grossi tells Curbed Philly.

The alliance argues, “The L&I failed to follow permit application procedures and enforce posting requirements.”

The properties 704 Sansom Street and 706-08 Sansom Street are under consideration for historic designation by the historic commission.

Here is Mayor Kenney’s statement, published in full below:

The news that Toll Brothers intends to double the height of its Jewelers’ Row project and that they will not maintain the second and third floor facades is deeply disturbing. I had hoped from our previous conversations that they intended to be a good corporate citizen, injecting much needed investment into the area while still respecting its character, but this information calls that into question. While, regrettably, the City, including the Historical Commission, does not have the legal ability to stop the project from moving forward, I am urging Toll Brothers to reconsider these decisions. I expect the Civic Design Review Board to make serious recommendations that will respect the historic nature of the properties, and I urge the Toll Brothers to adopt those recommendations or make the necessary adjustments on their own. If they do not, Toll Brothers will be sending a clear message that they no longer wish to have a productive relationship with the City of Philadelphia.