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Plans released for 165-unit West Philly apartment complex

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The plan is going in front of the CDR Tuesday

A rendering of one of the two proposed residential and retail buildings.
Orens Brothers and Wulff Architects, via City of Philadelphia

A proposal for two buildings offering apartments, retail and parking near University City will go in front of the Civic Design Review (CDR) next week—over three years after developers first started discussing the project.

Renderings for the planned development were released this month on the CDR website, showing two buildings that would go in at South 44th Street, one on either side of Ludlow Street. Both buildings would be six stories tall and would combine dark exterior materials like concrete, ebonite brick, and a grey spandrel wall, according to the renderings.

The first building, on the north side of Ludlow, would have 55 apartments—all one or two bedrooms—and over 5,000 square feet of retail space. The second building, on the south side of Ludlow, would offer 110 apartments, which range from studios to two bedroom homes, and nearly 10,000 square feet of retail space. Altogether, the development would bring in 57 parking spaces.

“The project is designed to enhance the walkability of the neighborhood with revitalized pedestrian walkways and new ground floor retail spaces that provide greater use of the existing street corridors,” developers The Orens Brothers said in the proposal.

That may be true—the proposal includes plans to bring in new sidewalks around the buildings, new trees and street lights around their section of Ludlow Street, and new public bike racks on South 44th and Chestnut streets.

The project may be new to some, but it’s actually been in the works for years. The Orens Brothers bought “blighted” properties on South 44th and Ludlow streets over three years ago, and started holding community events and attending zoning meetings to introduce their plan.

Despite the proposed development’s proximity to University City—it’s only a few blocks west of the neighborhood’s popular South 40th Street—the brothers have said they think the development could be for young professionals, instead of students only.

The proposal will be heard at a CDR meeting on Tuesday, where CDR members will give feedback on the project’s design.

  • New and Expanded: 4400 Block of Chestnut [Curbed Philly]
  • Chestnut and Ludlow Street at 44th Street []