Saturday, March 1, 2014

Philadelphia's new Mormon temple generates additional development


There is a lot going on in Philadelphia these days.

If you don't believe me, just drive on I-76 East/West and/or I-95 North/South and count the cranes. Center City, University City, The Navy Yard, as well as many other neighborhoods, are building for the future (even in my own neighborhood of Manayunk + Roxborough). Some projects are commercial, some are residential, and some are both.

If you didn't know already, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is currently in the process of building a new temple at 17th & Vine, which will be the first in PA. Two spires will top the Mormon organization's 77th temple, and will cap out at 200 feet high. Overall, the new temple will have a unique look and blend in well with Philadelphia's other neoclassical buildings along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Okay, now on to the additional projects.

After the temple was approved and earth started in moving in 2013, a 2nd and 3rd building project was proposed in early 2014: 1) A Mormon Meetinghouse, and 2) A 32-Story Residential High-Rise. Although these projects coincide with the new temple development, they will both be open to the public (unlike the temple, which is limited to Mormon members). The meetinghouse will have a chapel, courtyard, and some multipurpose spaces. The high-rise will have over 250 apartments, over 10 townhomes, and retail space.

Mixed-use is a hot trend in Philadelphia these days, and rightfully so. We live in a dense city with great bones, so why not capitalize on vertical growth (as opposed to sprawl). 

My whole point in blogging about this project is to showcase Philadelphia's reputation as a world-class city. Not only did the Mormon church decide to capitalize on Philadelphia's ideal Northeastern US location for their new temple, but they also realized that there is opportunity in our residential market as well.

And if they have the money to do it, why not invest in something they know.

Philadelphia is considered an affordable city with tons of history, culture, and restaurants/entertainment; not to mention our city's storied history as being a place where religious freedom was one of the founding principles.

It's nice to see other religious organizations taking note, and investing in Philadelphia's future.

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