Philadelphia’s largest grassy field at 1919 Market St. has been empty for years, creating a noticeable gap in Center City’s skyscraper row, but that’s set to change. The property will soon be home to a 29-story apartment building. Property owner Brandywine Realty Trust announced Monday that the $140 million building will have glass walls, 321 apartments, a CVS and a garage that can hold 215 vehicles.
Since rent prices for high-rise offices in the Center City aren’t always economically practical, the area is a booming locale for high-rise apartments right now, and cranes can be spotted across the skyline as new buildings go up. By creating an apartment building instead of office space, Brandywine plans to keep demand high for the other offices it owns in the area, including Logan Square, Commerce Plaza and Cira Centre.
“Goldtex Apartments in Center City has been one of our most successful residential real estate projects to date, offering a unique combination of location and value for people looking for a sophisticated downtown lifestyle in close proximity to work and restaurants, bars and nightlife,” says Svetlana Mosyurova, marketing director for Post Brothers Apartments.
Several plans to build on the Market St. site were made, both before and after Brandywine purchased the property in 2011, but what makes this project different is committed investment and an immediate start date. Brandywine is partnering with Berwyn-based investment firm LCOR CalSTRS, which invests for the California State Teachers Retirement System. Together, they’re investing $59 million in the property, and the rest will be borrowed.
Independence Blue Cross, headquartered next door, will also be a partner in the project. “Since we’re a health insurer and not typically in the real estate business, after reviewing our strategic business needs, we decided to sell our interest in the land to Brandywine and to become a tenant in a portion of the retail space,” Independence spokeswoman Judimarie Thomas told Philly.com.
Independence’s headquarters and the onsite CVS drugstore are expected to fill about 24,000 square feet of the tower’s 455,000 square feet. The apartments will feature a number of luxury amenities, and the garage will be open to the public. A date for completion has yet to be announced.