“What we’re selling to is a market that wants floor-to-ceiling glass,” said architect Cecil Baker, explaining his design for a 26-story residential tower at 5th and Walnut streets to the architecture committee of the Philadelphia Historical Commission. “They want New York.”
The plans for the tower, from “ultra-high-end” developer Tom Scannapieco, include 40 residential units, with two units each on floors five through 13, and one unit each on floors 14 through 26. The developers are “going after a very small segment of the population,” said Cecil Baker. There will also be a ground-floor retail component at the corner of 5th and Walnut.
Scannapieco, whose daughter Lindsey recently purchased the shuttered Bok Technical High School building in South Philadelphia, bought the property at 500 Walnut Street in May for $8.5 million.
The project has already received zoning approval. It was presented to the architecture committee Tuesday morning because it lies within a historic district, but the property, a vacant lot, is not individually certified historic.
Committee members had few comments about the design.
Video of the hearing will follow shortly.