The renderings for the Grove at Cira Centre South have been released by Erdy McHenry Architects, the firm that is designing the building for Brandywine Realty Trust in conjunction with architect Cesar Pelli, the Cira Centre’s master planner and the lead architect for the original Cira Centre. The renderings say all that needs to be said about the project, which is nothing short of elegant.
When completed, the 850-bed tower will offer a one-to-one bed-to-bathroom ratio and feature a rooftop swimming pool, media lounge and a 24-hour fitness center. Residents will also have access to a full concierge level providing hotel-like amenities throughout the day, including coffee service, a library technology center and first-floor retail.
Brandywine first thought about shifting gears from an office tower for the site to market-rate housing in the mid-2000s. Then, after the market-rate residential and commercial real estate market collapsed in the wake of Lehman Brothers’ failure in 2008, it switched to student housing, which did not suffer the same setbacks the rest of the market experienced.
Ample common areas, including numerous study lounges, will be designed to accommodate social and academic interaction. To foster a sense of community and promote resident engagement, the property will regularly host a variety of activities. A highly trained, professional staff – including a general manager, leasing manager, community assistants and a courtesy officer for security purposes – will serve residents. Through a partnership agreement with Brandywine, Campus Crest Communities will act as property manager of the completed 30-story tower.
Brandywine will offer tenants parking at the much-maligned 11-story parking garage behind the Grove at 31st and Chestnut streets. It will cover the garage (and try to silence some critics of the garage’s design) with a green roof and a one acre public space that will serve as an anchor between the Grove at Cira Centre South and the Walnut Tower at Cira Centre South. Pelli will also design the Walnut Tower, a mixed-use office, retail, and residential tower at 30th and Walnut streets scheduled to begin construction in 2014 as the last phase of the Cira Centre South project.
This is the second student housing project involving Campus Crest in University City. The company is also responsible for Chestnut Square on the Drexel University campus, which will be completed later this year.
“We look forward to further expanding our successful Cira Centre development and shaping the Philadelphia skyline with our new partners,” said Gerard H. Sweeney, president and chief executive officer of Brandywine. “We recognized the strong demand for graduate and undergraduate student housing in University City and selected Campus Crest for its proven operating platform and track record of success.”