Last Thursday Ensemble Real Estate, the developer who plans to build several new residential projects on the Central Delaware, presented updated plans for an apartment building on Piers 24 and 35 to the Central Delaware Advocacy Group. The developers have made some modifications by removing the loading dock from street view, and the portion of the building fronting Columbus Blvd. has been brought down to 100 feet to fit the Master Plan, with an additional 180- foot structure set back from the street surpassing the 100 foot limit. This still leaves waterfront advocates questioning the public benefit the project will offer. All that was offered was an 8-foot wide promenade leading to the river, which isn't much of a public amenity.
The building will contain 209 residential units, along with 209 parking spots, some of which will be dedicated to car-shares. The trash and loading area will be hidden from street view, as will a ramp leading up to a two-level parking garage. The parking garage itself will be screened from street view by residential units. The project does not currently offer retail on the ground floor but does contain corner glass facades that can one day be converted to retail. The developer says that they chose this route because there is currently no demand for retail in the neighborhood. Davit Ertz, Principal at Cope Linder Architects has repeatedly said he does not believe the waterfront development will be able to support retail uses for at least 25 years. Oh ye of little faith in our dear Philadelphia!!??
The project will be presented again on August 21st.