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Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 11:48 AM
Boku Boku is offline
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Seems this has been renamed as Crane Chinatown.

At long last, $75M Crane tower takes flight in Chinatown


In 2011, Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp. had a bold idea to continue stretching the boundaries of Chinatown northward with a major, $75 million mixed-use, community-based project at 10th and Vine streets and called it Eastern Tower.

The project was frequently talked about and its ground-breaking seemed eminent over the six years that followed. After a while, Eastern Tower appeared to be more of a good idea than a reality and breaking ground on it seemingly out of reach. At one point John Chin, executive director of the PCDC, and Ahsan M. Nasratullah, president of JNA Capital Inc., a partner in the development, considered not providing updates to the Chinatown community on its protracted progress.

They can chuckle about that now. Renamed Crane Chinatown, the development is on time, on budget and scheduled to open in September.

Crane marks a milestone for Chinatown’s progression and provides a new anchor in an area of Philadelphia starting to see more real estate investment. Development is pushing from Vine Street north and south from Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.

New projects on the horizon in that area include a new 160,000-square-foot Equal Justice Center at 800-830 Vine St. The Philadelphia Police Department headquarters at 750 Race St. is expected to eventually be redeveloped. Smaller developments have taken place such as the conversion of 1225 Vine St. into a Best Western hotel and the addition of a 39,000-square-foot rock climbing gym at 340 N. 10th St. Arts and Crafts has snapped up several buildings north of Vine Street to create an office submarket referred to as Spring Arts.

For Crane, it took patience and fortitude to get to this point. Parcels needed to be assembled and zoning approvals secured. Multiple funding sources were pieced together over several years. A new architect — Studio Agoos Lovera — was brought in to redesign the tower to bring it more in line with budgets and community vision. The structure shrank to 20 stories from 23 and became wider. Once under construction, a three-month long evaluation was launched to figure out a new name for the building that would encompass everything it stood for and was trying to achieve.

“Eastern Tower was a very nice, easy name that symbolized what we were trying to do,” Chin said. “It was also a play on words.” Eastern Tower was used not to pay tribute to the Asian community the building would serve but rather connote the site’s location east of Broad Street.

A new name was in order to acknowledge the mission of the 195,000-square-foot building, which will have apartments, community, office and retail space, as well as an early childhood learning center. The name would also underscore what PCDC stands for. “We are grounded, rooted in Chinatown, forward thinking and inclusive,” Chin said. From that emerged the crane, which is the national bird of China and known for its longevity.

The design of the building, open on three sides, also sends a signal to the community. “Most new buildings are exclusive and inward and we are completely open and want to invite everyone in,” Nasratullah said.

Crane will enable PCDC to expand many of the programs it offers now in small and scattered locations throughout Chinatown. For example, its early learning center will be able to educate 120 children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten rather than just 80. The 150 apartments, most of which are market rate, will fill a much-needed void. Community spaces will be programmed for all ages including for youths and seniors.

While those are all welcomed, what the community is really excited about is an expansive multipurpose gym that has a basketball court, room for volleyball, five-star views of the skyline and flexibility to convert into a banquet space that will accommodate 500 people. A warming kitchen was incorporated into an adjacent room as well as social and gathering areas that will complement the varied uses. “We tried to pack every idea we could into the building,” Nasratullah said.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2019, 2:04 PM
that isn't terrible that isn't terrible is offline
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Call to Artists for the west wall (and interior) on the Mural Arts website...

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Old Posted Jun 26, 2019, 2:39 PM
phishtown phishtown is offline
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Originally Posted by that isn't terrible View Post
Call to Artists for the west wall (and interior) on the Mural Arts website...

From the full RFQ:

"One artwork would be on a west-facing exterior wall of approximately 10,000 s.f. The budget for this wall would
be approximately $165,000. For this wall, murals, low-relief sculpture and other appropriate low-maintenance
media will be considered.
The other artwork would be in the ground floor public lobby of the building, where two walls are available. One
is an interior feature wall of approximately 1,000 s.f. and the other is a feature wall of approximately 275 s.f. The
budget for either or both walls is $45,000. For the interior artworks, installations in mosaic, tile, glass panels,
low-relief, light-based works and other suitable materials will be considered."
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