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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Buildings & Architecture > Never Built & Visionary Projects > Cancelled Project Threads Archive

 

 
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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 3:58 PM
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Lightbulb PHILADELPHIA | Parkway22 | 407 FT / 124 M (I) | 187 FT / 57 M (II) | NEVER BUILT

Parkway 22

Website: Parkway22

Location: 21st and Hamilton Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Usage: Residential

Tower I
Height: 407' (124 meters) Floors: 35

Tower II
Height: 187' (57 meters) Floors: 16

Architects: Burt Hill Architects
Developers: V&H Hotel Associates (an affiliate of Naveh-Shuster)
Estimated Cost: $300,000,000
Units/Prices: 254 units
• Condominiums from mid $300,000s
• Lofts from upper $300,000s
• Townhomes from mid-$800,000s
Groundbreaking: November 2007
Completion: 2009
Amenities/Features:
• 24 hour concierge
• Restaurant with outdoor seating
• State-of-the-art wellness center
* Indoor swimming pool with hot tub
• High ceilings
• Stainless steel appliances
• Full-size washers and dryers

Trivia:
• The first name for the project was the Barnes Tower in recognition of the priceless Albert Barnes art collection that will eventually move to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
• Originally planned to be 100' taller, the uproar from the local communities of Fairmount and Spring Garden forced the developer to scale down the project from a single tall tower to two shorter towers. Increased traffic and shadows were the main complaints.

Images

Future site (Currently the Best Western Hotel)


Full page ad


Interior views






Renderings from Burt Hill Architects




View showing new shorter tower (dark blue) in relation to proposed Barnes Tower


Renderings of the rejected Barnes Tower proposal.


Aerial view of rejected Barnes Tower proposal.

Last edited by Swinefeld; Nov 30, 2007 at 2:24 PM. Reason: New data
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 6:11 PM
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Nice job Swiny. Thanks
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 8:18 PM
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Thanks for posting this.
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  #4  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 8:44 PM
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A decent addition to a neighborhood that would be much greater if it had less pointless open spaces and occupied sites that are just about as pointless (such as this one).
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 8:46 PM
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I'm voting this project as "the project most likely to go into construction next in Philadelphia."

It is being marketed quite heavily. More so than Mandeville, 1706 Rittenhouse, or any of the other proposals which have not started construction. To me, this is a sign that the developers are serious.

In addition, it was reported I think in the Philadelphia Business Journal that some construction firm had already been hire to handle "pre-construction work." (Maybe that means demolition and site preparation.)

The first signal we should watch for, of course, is the closing of the Best Western Inn. Remember when the Budget Rent-A-Car closed for Murano and fencing went up around the site. That's what we should watch for.
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2007, 4:51 AM
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Doesn't look bad. A little plain maybe...but not bad. Of course, it's a new project and of decent height (406 feet) so I welcome it. But why was the taller Barnes Tower rejected?
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  #7  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2007, 4:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BigDan35 View Post
But why was the taller Barnes Tower rejected?
The dreaded shadows!
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2007, 7:25 PM
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It looks like a beautiful project but my only skepticism is its likelihood of actually being built with such unrealistically low prices. Construction costs have risen so dramatically in the last three years which is why so many other projects got canned. They can't sell units for less than what it costs to build them, that's obvious. 10 Rittenhouse had to start over because they undersold several units. They had to kill some contracts, reconfigure and reprice the building altogether. They're using the Marketing Directors from New York to manage their on-site sales and marketing now because they couldn't do it effectively on their own or with local brokers. Look around at the what? 3 or 4 highrises under construction, and you see starting prices well above $500K for a very good reason. Most of these buildings if they had to start over again, would never have been built today unless their prices were far higher to cover such increases in today's construction costs. Remember 1919 Market and how everyone went apeshit over 1BR + Dens for $250K? How'd that turn out? While it's a lovely idea to think one can get a new highrise condo for $360K, I just don't see how it's possible. Unless of course, you believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2007, 11:34 PM
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I'm not feeling this typical boxy project....
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 2:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CondoGuru View Post
While it's a lovely idea to think one can get a new highrise condo for $360K, I just don't see how it's possible. Unless of course, you believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
Starting at $369,000. There's no mention of how high the prices go. That $369,000 price might be for a one bedroom on a low floor overlooking a parking lot. All the rest of the units are probably much higher.
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 5:03 PM
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it seems like i first heard about this only a few monthes ago, and now ground breaking is set for november. im glad to see this will actually come to fruition. the continuing construction in philly is amazing, i look forward to see this tower start construction!
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swinefeld View Post
Starting at $369,000. There's no mention of how high the prices go. That $369,000 price might be for a one bedroom on a low floor overlooking a parking lot. All the rest of the units are probably much higher.
I went in there this weekend and the saleswoman stated clearly and openly that they have to sell at least 30% of the units before they can get financing and start construction. She said they have 4 reservations after two weeks of previews and their official opening of sales will start October 15th. If you believe that they can sell 90 units between now and some speculative November groundbreaking, then believing in Santa Claus isn't such a leap. When I bought my unit at American Loft, the sales center was full and they did like 12 reservations in one day! I just don't see the momentum and excitement behind this that's necessary for them to hit that financing target.
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2007, 3:27 AM
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CondoGuru, I don't know if I've asked you this before but would you call speculation a problem in Philadelphia's condo market at the level of this project? Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that the reason there's the glut of such housing in places like Miami now?

There was a time about two years ago or so, as I'm sure you're aware, that literally a week didn't go by without a large scale condo being announced somewhere. The difference between Philadelphia and many other cities is that the big projects here never got built. Does it seem like speculators are jumping in on this city since the crash didn't hit us so hard? I hate sounding so amateurish but it's been on my mind.
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2007, 6:35 PM
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Originally Posted by volguus zildrohar View Post
CondoGuru, I don't know if I've asked you this before but would you call speculation a problem in Philadelphia's condo market at the level of this project? Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that the reason there's the glut of such housing in places like Miami now?

There was a time about two years ago or so, as I'm sure you're aware, that literally a week didn't go by without a large scale condo being announced somewhere. The difference between Philadelphia and many other cities is that the big projects here never got built. Does it seem like speculators are jumping in on this city since the crash didn't hit us so hard? I hate sounding so amateurish but it's been on my mind.
Yes and no. The fact that there were NOT rampant speculative buyers flooding Philadelphia was the reason why most of the past proposals never got built. And thank God for that! Philadelphia buyers are 90% users, meaning they buy real estate to occupy as their primary residence. Miami's problem was that the vast majority of its buyers were speculators for whom they overbuilt. Speculators are typically not committed buyers and are usually subrime candidates. The oversupply down there is due to these speculators not getting loan approvals, defaulting on their contracts, and losing their deposits. When the market couldn't absorb the oversupply, speculators couldn't flip their contracts. Most developers in Philly with the exception of Waterfront Square, never allowed reassignment of contracts in order to discourage that speculative investor from buying. Philadelphia has not seen any of this due to the demographic of its buyers. We're very conservative here and the psychology of buyers is completely different. It's entirely possible that Parkway 22 may very well happen, it's just not going to happen as soon as they claim. If the developer is totally committed and they get construction financing, it will rise. The cost of construction will only ever go up, so for a building slated to be completed in 2010 or more likely 2011, the market may be very different by then and will most certainly be on an upswing, making a new building like this more desirable. But if they undersell their units, getting financing will be tough, unless they dramatically raise their prices to cover the units they undersold. Putting down 10% or even 20% for a $369,000 unit that you won't have to close on until 2010 or 2011 is a no brainer. I just don't see how it can happen at such low numbers.
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by CondoGuru View Post
Yes and no. The fact that there were NOT rampant speculative buyers flooding Philadelphia was the reason why most of the past proposals never got built. And thank God for that! Philadelphia buyers are 90% users, meaning they buy real estate to occupy as their primary residence. Miami's problem was that the vast majority of its buyers were speculators for whom they overbuilt. Speculators are typically not committed buyers and are usually subrime candidates. The oversupply down there is due to these speculators not getting loan approvals, defaulting on their contracts, and losing their deposits. When the market couldn't absorb the oversupply, speculators couldn't flip their contracts. Most developers in Philly with the exception of Waterfront Square, never allowed reassignment of contracts in order to discourage that speculative investor from buying. Philadelphia has not seen any of this due to the demographic of its buyers. We're very conservative here and the psychology of buyers is completely different. It's entirely possible that Parkway 22 may very well happen, it's just not going to happen as soon as they claim. If the developer is totally committed and they get construction financing, it will rise. The cost of construction will only ever go up, so for a building slated to be completed in 2010 or more likely 2011, the market may be very different by then and will most certainly be on an upswing, making a new building like this more desirable. But if they undersell their units, getting financing will be tough, unless they dramatically raise their prices to cover the units they undersold. Putting down 10% or even 20% for a $369,000 unit that you won't have to close on until 2010 or 2011 is a no brainer. I just don't see how it can happen at such low numbers.

The developer has owned this property for a very long time. The parcel cost them basically nothing. Perhaps this is why the price point is lower than some other projects?
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2007, 6:34 PM
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The land acquisition has very little to do with the cost per buildable square foot. The size and configuration of units, total square footage and supply contracts for materials and construction are what dominate the budget. If they presell their 90 or 100 units required to get construction financing, they have a choice. They can buy the building and its finishes, keeping the cost per buildable foot fixed. Or, they can offer multiple finish options and have open-ended contracts with their suppliers, which means the cost to acquire those finishes goes up quarterly until they place the orders and deliver deposits. Problem is, they can't submit orders until a buyer comes in and chooses, making a huge percentage of the building exponentially more expensive to build the longer it takes for customers to commit and choose their finishes. That's why it's better for a large ambitious project like this to pre-package its finishes, keeping the construction costs fixed. It's the only way to get a building of this size out of the ground.
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2007, 6:13 PM
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There has been a drastic decline in residential construction in the United States in 2007. CondoGuru, how can you contend that this "softening" of the market is not having an effect on the cost of construction labor/materials?
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2007, 7:46 PM
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There has been a drastic decline in residential construction in the United States in 2007. CondoGuru, how can you contend that this "softening" of the market is not having an effect on the cost of construction labor/materials?
The softening of certain markets, not all of them, has virtually no effect on the costs of construction and materials. Remember, real estate is local, not national. The psychology of buyers is completely different from one region/city to another. Do the marble quarries in Carrera, Italy care that the real estate market in some US regions has softened? No. Do the oil/petroleum markets around the world give a crap that the real estate market has softened? No. Have they reduced the fuel prices so suppliers can ship their materials around the world at lower prices because the real estate market has softened? No. Have Unions reduced their wages because the real estate market has softened? No. If you believe that somehow the cost of construction will ever go down, and that developers need only wait until that occurrence to build skyscrapers at lower costs, we would never see a new building built again. Think about what you're saying, it has absolutely no plausibility whatsoever. The only reason a developer would hold off and wait to build a building is not that the costs of construction would ever go down, but that the market would be on an upswing again, distancing their price per buildable foot, comforably under the price per square foot they can command from their buyers. And currently, the way new highrise development works, the two are way too uncomfortably close for many projects to proceed.
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2007, 12:59 PM
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  #20  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2007, 2:06 PM
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Great news, lets hope this thing gets off the ground asap, as the BW is a total eyesore and piece of garbage, I know I lived there for a year...(one half of the building was a Temple dorm for a while). Now the only thing that is left is removal of all the bums that drop anchor caddy corner to the BW at the Wawa.
     
     
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