West Philadelphia’s Haddington section has been slowly revitalizing and is on the threshold of attracting private development, especially as University City continues to grow and create new jobs. One area that has seen a large amount of redevelopment is the 60th Street commercial corridor. 60th Street used to have a huge amount of vacant properties, but a few years ago the local community groups renovated and rebuilt dozens of buildings along the corridor. Many of these buildings have renovated, or entirely new, retail spaces and some are just residential, usually with colorful paint jobs. Some blocks have very little retail vacancy, particularly near Market Street. Parts of Market Street, right off of 60th Street, are being rebuilt by the community groups, as well. One large empty lot, between 59th and Salford Streets, is about to be rebuilt with a mixed-use development of housing, office, and retail.
This new development is being developed by Achievability and Mission First Housing Development Corporation and designed by Kitchen Associates. It is to be called New Market West and will take up the entire block. The building facing Market Street will be four stories and will be all office and retail space. The front will have a well landscaped “public promenade” for outdoor community events. The first floor will have retail spaces facing Market Street and a large child care facility will face 59th Street. The residential building will be on the northwest corner of the site. It will be five stories and will have 41 affordable rental units. The apartment building will have a sizable community room on the Filbert Street side. In between the commercial and residential buildings will be a landscaped private courtyard for residents. The courtyard, public promenade, and a green roof on the commercial building will provide stormwater management. There will be 80 underground parking spaces and 24 bicycle parking spaces. The commercial building will have glass and masonry on the retail facade and brick on the exterior of the second and third floors. The fourth level will be mostly glass and the roof will have a deck overlooking the Market/Frankford El. The residential building will have brick and concrete panels. Public art will eventually be added to the public promenade and the courtyard.
The developers plan to build the commercial building and public spaces first, and then build the residential building in a second phase. Developments like New Market West are a necessary component in revitalizing West Philadelphia. New Market West will help make the Haddington neighborhood and the 60th Street and Market Street corridors attractive to investors and developers who are looking for housing for the workers and students of University City.
By, Gabriel Gottlieb