A small parking lot and a historic townhouse on the 2100 block of Walnut Street are about to see the development of a new condo and retail project. The historic building at 2108 Walnut Street, right across the street from modern townhouses at Walnut and Van Pelt Streets, had been used in modern times as a small office building with a hair salon on the first floor. It is being largely preserved, except for a one-story portion in-between the townhouse and a small carriage house in the back which fronts on Chancellor Street. The parking lot will see the construction of a nine-story addition.
The development is being designed by popular architects Cecil Baker and Partners. It will have nine luxury condominium units, in the new and older buildings. Floors five, six, and seven in the newer building will be whole floor units and the eighth and ninth floors will be one large penthouse. The fifth through the ninth floors will be setback from the street, so as not to be taller than the neighboring historic buildings along the block. The back of the building will be terraced to have setbacks from Chancellor Street and the terraces will act as balconies. The development will have ten parking spaces on the first floor of the new addition, accessible from an entrance on Walnut Street. The parking was the source of a year-long feud with nearby neighbors on Chancellor Street, who objected to the parking entrance on the Chancellor Street side. After months of negotiations, and about a half dozen delays for the Zoning Board hearings, the developers and neighbors agreed to the current parking plan of ten spaces accessible from Walnut Street. The historic building will continue to have a retail space where the salon used to be.
This new development is on the same block as Van Pelt Mews, the townhouses across the street, and a condo and townhouse development at the corner of 22nd and Walnut Streets. These developments are much smaller than other nearby luxury developments happening in surrounding blocks, such as the very tall 1911 Walnut Street apartment tower, the 1900 Chestnut Street apartment tower, and the 2116 Chestnut Street apartment tower, completed a few years ago. But, filling in small blighted sites can lead to enough improvements to lead to further development on other neighborhood sites, such as the gas station at 22nd and Walnut Streets, the large surface parking lot across from Boyd’s Department Store on Chestnut Street, the large parking lot at the end of Sansom Street, and the Rite Aid and parking lot at 23rd and Walnut Streets.
By, Gabriel Gottlieb