Apartment tower approved for 32nd and Race, near Drexel University

A new apartment tower is scheduled to rise at 32nd and Race streets near the campus of Drexel University after receiving approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Wednesday.

The project includes 164 apartment units in a 192-foot tower, along with 12 three-story townhomes serving as a buffer between the tower and the lower-density Powelton Village neighborhood. It will have underground parking space to serve the apartment tower and a small surface lot serving the townhomes. The apartment tower will also include a child-care center that will be open to the public, serving around 150 children and employing 20 adults (presumably).

The properties, at 3201 Race Street, were bought and assembled by Drexel over the past few years, and are being developed by Radnor Property Group.

They’re adjacent to a community garden on the west and a railyard to the east. The front entrance of the apartment tower, in the southeast corner of the site, overlooks the railyard, the Schuylkill River, and the city skyline.

To the south and west of the property there are also apartment buildings for Drexel undergraduate students. Neil Sklaroff, an attorney representing the developers, said the apartments at 3201 Race are intended to be let to people who work at the surrounding universities and institutions, and won’t be available to undergrads.

The building was redesigned slightly after a Civic Design Review hearing earlier this month, when committee members criticized a blank wall along Race Street. The architects, Erdy McHenry, added a lighted bicycle-storage room on that side.

On Tuesday, the Planning Commission voted to support the project. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s office and the Poweltown Village Civic Association also support the development. 
3201 Race St. looking west / Erdy McHenry
3201 Race St. looking west / Erdy McHenry

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