Pearl Properties have somewhat quietly started construction on a 14-story residential tower, unbeknownst to community stakeholders and civic groups. The building, dubbed the Beacon, sits at 1533 Walnut Street and surpassed the Civic Design Review, the need for zoning variances, or meetings with neighborhood associations by conforming to the site's zoning, Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron reports.
Designed by DAS Architects, the Beacon is less than 100,000 square feet, which allows it to bypass the Civic Design Review. And while not officially historic and therefore not required, the designers and developers have even managed to incorporate much of the building's 1927 architectural details into the new design.
Pearl deserves props for preserving the corner building, which once housed Brown Bros. Harriman, a private investment bank. Although the office dates from 1927, it is not landmarked. Pearl was smart enough to realize the limestone building could serve as an elegant entrance to its apartment tower. Its original wood-paneled lobby will become a retail space for the athleisure brand Under Armour.
The rest of the building will be reserved for 100 apartment units, Property Mag reports. Amenities include a fitness center, roof deck, movie room, and club room.