The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton
Official Website: Residences at the Ritz-Carlton
1414 South Penn Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Condominium with 580,000 sf of residential space with ground-level retail.
518' (157.9 meters) Floors:
Handel Architects LLP
The Arden Group, Inc.
President and CEO:
Craig A. Spencer
280 units, from $500,000 to $12,000,000 for a 10,000 sf penthouse.
• Billiards room
• Fitness center
• Swimming pool & spa
• Catering pantry
• Private garden
The One Meridian Plaza Fire
The plot of land where the Resindence at the Ritz-Carlton is to be built was once home to the 1972 One Meridian Plaza (Vincent Kling & Associates
), a 38-floor skyscraper that suffered a severe fire on February 23, 1991. The fire started on the 22nd floor and raged for 18 hours, gutting eight floors and causing an estimated $100 million in direct property loss. It was later described by Philadelphia officials as "the most significant fire [of the last] century". Three Philadelphia firefighters lost their lives battling the blaze.
Meridian's owners and its insurers spent the next nine years haggling over compensation, letting the charred hulk of One Meridian Plaza stand out like a big, ugly, sore thumb. A settlement was finally reached in 1999.
The Spencer-Mahoney Feud
Liberty Property Trust of Malvern tried to buy the site. Craig A. Spencer files a lawsuit to block the $13.5 million deal, asserting that the owner was reneging on a deal with his frim, the Arden Group. Liberty later backs off.
Spencer's Arden Group buys the 22,000 sf site for $13.2 million and drops its lawsuit. Developer Tim Mahoney, of Ardmore, buts the adjacent site at the northeast croner of 15th and Chestnut Streets from Berwind Property Group. Buildings on the site are subsequently demolished.
January 2, 2003:
The Spencer-Mahoney feud flares into the open before the City Zonind Board of Adjustment. The board approves Mahoney's proposed condo tower, and Spencer appeals that decision in the Common Pleas Court. He subsequently wins zoning approval for an even taller condo tower, and Mahoney retaliates by seeking to kill that approval in court.
Spencer and Mahoney call a truce and say they will back each other's tower.
Mahoney goes back before the zoning board with a revised proposal to replace the one that Common Pleas Court rejected. Spencer opposes the new plan, too.
A new shorter version of Residences at the Ritz-Carlton with a public plaza was announced.
May 2, 2006:
Official groundbreaking ceremony is held.
May 31, 2006:
Tim Mahoney's Mariner company puts 1441 Chestnut on the market.
Renderings & Views
Renderings courtesy of Handel Architects LLP.
Model based on older design. Photo courtesy of volguus zildrohar.
Aerial view showing future site. Photo courtesy of Metro.
Recent photo looking north showing removal of underground garage roof where the buildings foundation will sit.