By Jessica Green | January 1, 2015 | Home & Real Estate
Sky-high properties are on trend and residents are moving to the top, from the Museum District to the suburbs.
251 Dekalb, in King of Prussia, is one of the largest projects underway in the Philadelphia area.
The Museum District’s residential market is garnering citywide attention for Rodin Square (501 N. 22nd St.). The 10-story building, occupying 520,000 square feet of space, with lower-level retail space and a 293-unit complex, is set to be complete by summer 2016. The residential development, called The Dalian on Fairmount, sits above a Whole Foods Market, CVS, and a Thomas Jefferson University Hospital branch. The ground-floor Whole Foods will be one of the largest ever built, featuring a 5,000-square-foot café and two-story glass concealment; a 500-plus-car parking structure includes aboveground spaces for residents and lower-level parking for retail customers.
The residential portion of the project boasts shared amenities, including a 24-hour concierge, billiard room, Internet café, and fitness center with a yoga studio. A 35,000-square-foot rooftop named Sky Park will be available to residents year round with an infinity-edge pool, an indoor/outdoor heated cabana, outdoor kitchen with grills, and a green roof area.
“The Dalian on Fairmount is going to provide a level of apartment living that Philadelphia has not yet seen,” says Brady Nolan, vice president of development for Dalian Development, who is spearheading the project. “The large size of our site and its location among the incredible art museums on the hill overlooking downtown allowed the design and ownership teams to create an unmatched set of amenities. Inside, floor-to-ceiling glass throughout the 13,000-plus square feet of amenities and the units creates a great sense of drama and design,” he adds.
Dalian Development has teamed up with Bozzuto Group to bring the complex to life. “Philadelphians are raising their expectations when it comes to apartment living, and we are eager to show them this new, formidable project where no detail will be overlooked,” says Lisa Bryan, Bozzuto’s director of planning and advisory services.
MV+A Architects of Washington, DC, directed the design for both the retail and residential portions of the Dalian. “The city of Philadelphia has incredible character. Every time I visit, I discover something new and get more excited about the opportunities [here],” says Nolan. “We thought that a true trophy-quality apartment project was one of the few things missing, and set out from the beginning to create that.”
Carl Dranoff has set his sights beyond Broad Street with Fitler Square’s One Riverside (210 S. 25th St., 215-600-2496), a 22-story glass-enclosed highrise at 25th and Locust Streets. With just four to six homes on each floor, the 88-unit building allows for soaring views of the city and surrounding public parks thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies, and terraces. The building is located at the entrance to the Schuylkill River trail and the promenade at the South Street Bridge, with the Schuylkill River Park—complete with a dog park, tennis and basketball courts, and children’s playgrounds—located just across the street.
“[We’ve] been a longtime leader in setting design and market trends in Philadelphia real estate,” says Dranoff, whose eponymous development firm’s portfolio includes major Philadelphia projects Symphony House, Southstar Lofts, and SLS International Hotel & Residences. “Through our constant communication with luxury housing renters in Philadelphia, we’ve repeatedly heard the same feedback: There is a lack of high-end luxury condominiums available in this city. One Riverside was built to fill the city’s unsatisfied demand for a boutique-size high-rise.” Architect Cecil Baker is collaborating on the project. “One Riverside is an unparalleled opportunity to create a slender bookend to a vibrant Philadelphia community,” says Baker. “Its slim, fractured profile maximizes the urban view-shed while echoing the varied scale of the city’s edge.”
The splendor of the deluxe exterior is mirrored inside with supreme amenities. Chef’s kitchens and custom cabinets come standard alongside marble and porcelain features in the bathrooms. As for the building itself, residents can enjoy underground valet parking in a garage directly connected to the building. A fitness center with locker rooms, saunas, and steam rooms takes apartment gyms to a new level with an indoor lap pool and an outdoor terrace for post-workout relaxation. Other amenities include a club room with a catering kitchen and fireplace for entertaining, a business center, and a hospitality suite for out-of-town guests to stay.
One Riverside will hold one-to four-bedroom units and two penthouses and will be the first ground-up condo-style high-rise since 10 Rittenhouse broke ground in 2007. Occupancy is set to begin in summer 2016.
Units at 251 Dekalb are elevated with classic and contemporary styling, not to mention the soaring, panoramic views of the Main Line through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
King of Prussia is home to a new high-rise called 251 Dekalb (251 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, 866-691-4563). The complex will house 641 apartments and offer wide-ranging amenities, including 24/7 concierge services and a fitness center powered by top-of-the-line Technogym wellness training equipment. Candlebrook Properties, a New York–based company, is leading the project. “251 Dekalb offers both an absolutely gorgeous aesthetic and unparalleled luxury,” says Candlebrook President and CEO Neil Rubler. “We think it sets a whole new standard in the Philadelphia market and have already seen a tremendous response. Leasing activity is very strong.” 251 Dekalb is one of the largest projects currently underway in the region and is Candlebrook’s first venture in Pennsylvania. The company is offering an array of conveniences for its residences. The residence club, pegged The 251 Club, will feature a library lounge, curated art displays, bocce ball courts, a dog park, and a brand-new pool with a sundeck and barbecue pit, while a full children’s service area, designed by Kidville, will host birthday parties, provide kids’ enrichment classes, and create a custom play space.
All apartments will have open European-style kitchens, in-unit washer/dryers, floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Main Line, and custom light fixtures throughout. “[This property] offered us the opportunity to do a unique project in a truly unique setting,” adds Rubler. “The architecture is compelling, and the design is both classic and contemporary.” The balanced design is thanks to Stephen Varenhorst of Varenhorst Architects, the team behind 2040 Market Street, 1900 Arch Street, and others. Occupants began moving in this past summer, and the rest of the property will be completed in phases throughout 2016.
The 35,000-square-foot Sky Park rooftop at The Dalian offers residents year-round views of Center City.
As new high-rises pierce the Center City skyline, there is still a competitive market for homes with historical integrity. 126 South 16th Street was originally designed by Philadelphia-born architect Frank Furness, responsible for creating almost 200 of the city’s most renowned buildings between 1878 and 1906. Retail space occupies the ground floor, with a newly built storefront. Sitting above are three additional floors of living space—the second and third floors are each filled with two studios, while the fourth houses a two-bedroom apartment. “We love breathing life back into old structures that have been shuttered for some time,” says Allan Domb of Allan Domb Real Estate. “The opportunity to create new homes in a Frank Furness property that needed a major renovation was a challenge that took a lot of dollars and two years of work. Our finished product demonstrates the adaptive reuse of the spaces into homes where Center City residents can live in a totally modern, updated space.”
All units feature new kitchens, baths, and hardwood floors, as well as recessed lighting, energy-efficient windows, and a stackable washer/ dryer. The lot resembles its original structure in appearance, but inwardly, the building has been transformed. That life comes in the form of white slab cabinetry, black honed granite countertops, and stainless-steel appliances—including a refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and microwave—in each kitchen. The bathrooms come equipped with Grohe shower fixtures and Moen bathroom additions. Jen Harvey, director of development at Allan Domb Real Estate, who supervised the project, says that square footage was a major consideration during renovation. “The floor areas are quite small, so it was a challenge to create a unit mix that worked from an investment standpoint and for marketability. We were able to come up with great floor plans that maximize layout flexibility, storage, and all the modern amenities that a Center City renter would expect in a high-end renovation.” Sizes range from 308 to 358 square feet for the studios and 756 square feet for the two-bedroom on the top floor.
photography courtesy of archiBiM (rodin square); candleBrook properties (251 dekalB)