I just wish they would take an empty lot as opposed to knocking down a building.
John Buck gets zoning OK for apartments
by Natalie Kostelni Staff Writer
John Buck Co. got the green light from Philadelphia’s Zoning Board of Adjustment to construct a $100 million, 33-story apartment tower at 2116 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia.
The ZBA approval comes more than a year after the Chicago developer began working on plans to build the complex. Now the developer is working on lining up financing and if all goes according to plan, will break ground at the beginning of next year, said Steve Perna of PernaFrederick Commercial Real Estate, who represented the developer and other interested parties in the project.
The project will have 307 apartments. The site has a 40,000-square-foot building sitting on it that houses the Sidney Hillman Medical Center, a local institution in the neighborhood. The developer will knock down that building and build the apartment tower on the site. The medical center will be retained in a smaller, adjacent building that will be constructed as part of the project.
The project wasn’t without some controversy. Two neighboring churches had concerns over the height of the development. The First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia at 2125 Chestnut St., and the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion at 2110 Chestnut St. were worried about the height of the structure. The Unitarians feared it would be too tall and cast a “permanent shadow” on the church, detract from the church’s exterior appearance, interior illumination, stained glass, and the amount of sun its landscaping will receive. The developer made some concessions to lessen its impact on its neighbors, helping to clear the way for its eventual approval.
John Buck is a real estate firm that developed and owns landmark office buildings and mixed-use projects in Chicago and other major cities. This is its first project in Philadelphia.