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Slim condo tower at Broad and Pine gets OK from design committee

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The 28-story tower just cleared its latest development hurdle

A 28-story tower designed by Cecil Baker+Partners got the thumbs up from the Civic Design Review.
Renderings by Cecil Baker+Partners

The proposed condo tower for Broad and Pine just cleared its latest development hurdle after receiving the green light from the Civic Design Review committee at Tuesday’s meeting.

The committee voted unanimously to conclude the project’s CDR process. The CDR is a non-binding advisory committee of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.

The tower was designed by Cecil Baker + Partners (Baker is on the commission, but recused himself from the discussion) and is being developed by Dranoff Properties. Original plans called for a hotel, but Dranoff later decided to build a 28-story condo tower with 56 condos, a 92-car underground parking garage, and 2,900 square feet of ground-floor retail.

At the meeting, architect Nancy Bastian offered a few more details regarding how the condo tower will be broken up by floor. The first three floors will feature retail and a third-floor amenity level.

Floors four through 17 will feature three units per floor, each with their own south-facing balconies. As the tower ascends past the University of the Arts building next door, floors 17 through 25 will feature two units per floor with north-facing balconies looking toward the Center City skyline.

The view of the tower from Pine Street.
The 28-story tower in relation to Avenue of the Arts, across the street from the Symphony House and Dranoff’s other proposed SLS Hotel.

The two top floors will include two penthouses: One unit will take up the entire 26th floor and another two-story penthouse will set up shop on the 27th and 28th floors.

In addition, the developer and designer are continuing to work with the Philadelphia Streets Department on proposed improvements to the narrow Watts Street, which the back of the proposed condo tower will face. Here, there will be access in and out of the tower’s underground parking garage.

The committee praised the design for the proposed limestone base, its goal for LEED certification, and for the inclusion of underground parking. In addition to nearly two parking spaces per unit, there will also be 34 bike spaces and bike racks at least along Pine Street.

The original design proposal was first revealed in late August to the Washington Square West Civic Association, which supports the 361-foot-tall project, especially its plan to eliminate the large curb cuts on both Broad and Pine streets.

However, a representative for the community group did express concern about the tower’s construction timeline at the Civic Design Review meeting: “We understand this project may follow the project for SLS, and we strongly urge that the current building not be demolished until construction. Philadelphia lots sometime sit vacant for way too long.”

The Civic Design Review committee also concluded the process for a new research building for Penn’s Wharton School at 3601-37 Spruce Street and a replacement facility for Belmont Behavioral Hospital at 4200 Monument Road.