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First Look: Inside the 16-story Vue32 residential tower in University City

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The 164-unit building is ready for its first tenants

Vue32, a 16-story tower adjacent to Drexel University, is ready for move-ins.
Photos by Melissa Romero

All it takes is one look from the rooftop terrace of Vue32 to understand how the 16-story tower got its name.

“I think it has one of the best views of downtown Philly,” said developer David Yeager of Radnor Property Group at a recent hard hat tour of the tower.

He’s not wrong—although it’s also a telling view of not just Center City’s evolving skyline, but University City’s ongoing rise, too.

At 16 stories, one wouldn’t expect Vue32 to offer the same jaw-dropping vistas as, say, the 47-story FMC Tower on the Schuylkill. But its location at 3201 Race Street places it high above the SEPTA rail yard and allows it unblocked views of the rest of the city. It’s what attracted Radnor Property Group to the site. And according to Yeager, 60 percent of the 164 units in Vue32 have views of Center City.

The current view from the 17th-floor terrace.
A rendering reveals plans for the 17th-floor terrace, which is still under construction.
Rendering by Erdy McHenry

Construction began on the $56 million tower (it was originally called View32 until it underwent a rebranding) in March 2016. But that was after months of community meetings and the city’s approval of 14 zoning variances for the project.

To accommodate the requests of both neighbors and Drexel University, which is a partner in the project with Radnor Property Group, local architecture firm Erdy McHenry ultimately designed a tower that was slimmer, taller, and slightly rotated east. This positioning helps minimize shadow lines across the neighborhood’s adjacent community garden. It also creates an 11-foot grade change from west to east that allows for handsome stadium seating and a plaza at the foot of the building’s main entrance.

Vue32 is adjacent to the Summer Winter Community Garden.
A rendering reveals the proposed plaza that wraps around the front and side of Vue32.

In addition, parking for 32 spaces was moved underground, and an 180-person early learning childcare center was reserved for the lower two floors.

The building’s smaller footprint—Yeager describes it as a boutique apartment building—means the studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units are on the smaller size than the average apartment, though they all have nine-foot-tall ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The units range in price from $1,700 for a 494-square-foot junior one-bedroom unit to $5,100 for a 1,495-square-foot three-bedroom. Yeager says in general the units are 5 percent smaller than apartments at Radnor’s other University City project at 3737 Chestnut.

Model units reveal subway tile backsplashes and floor-to-ceiling windows. Some units also have sliding barn doors.

At last count, about 15 to 20 percent of the units have been leased. As expected, they seem to be attracting eds and meds of University City, although Yeager notes that some young professionals who reverse commute out of Philly have expressed interest, due to Vue32’s proximity to 30th Street Station.

The story isn’t over for the project. The second phase, which will bring 12 two-bedroom condos next to the tower, is set to break ground later this summer.

Drexel University

3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104 Visit Website