Green homes with room to grow, coming to Graduate Hospital in September 2012

Carpenter Square, looking south from 17th and Carpenter streets
Architect's rendering of Carpenter Square, looking south from the commercial portion of the development at 17th and Carpenter streets

Plans for the mixed-use development dubbed Carpenter Square (1001-35 South 17th Street) continue to move along. While some kinks need to be ironed out—current plans call for a structural height slightly taller than the permitted 35 feet—this complex of homes for sale in Graduate Hospital is focusing on spaciousness and green living to stand apart from the crowd.

The project is owned by a partnership that includes real estate agent and project designer Michelle Ashley. Ashley and the other team members pride themselves on forward thinking and hope to see their development pave the way for future green communities in Philadelphia, pride that shone through the presentation by project leaders Mark Scott and architects Brian Johnston and Christopher Stromberg.

Carpenter Square, rear elevation
The rear of the homes in the Carpenter Square development, looking northwest

Each of the 11 townhomes will feature about 2,500 square feet of living space, allowing for room to grow and encouraging homeowners to remain in the neighborhood for years to come. Durable decking, green roofs, and two-car, rear-access parking are among other attractive qualities of the blueprints. Storm planters replicated from models used in successful green cities like Portland and Seattle will trap storm water and infiltrate it back into the ground. And the city is on board—Scott’s green visions have already made it through the first phase of approval by the Philadelphia Water Department.

A commercial space at the corner of Carpenter Street with six 1- to 2-bedroom condos above finish off the plan. The commercial area will be an open plaza of roughly 2,000 square feet and will offer access to an outdoor seating area available to the public, which Scott envisions as a lively urban oasis.

Carpenter Square, west (front) elevation
The 17th Street facade of the homes in Carpenter Square

During Wednesday’s South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA) meeting, one attendee inquired about plans for completion of the project. Scott informed the crowd that after finances are finalized, the goal is to build in phases, beginning at the north end and continuing south. Ensuring a LEED neighborhood certification is the primary reason for erecting the commercial area and condos before the townhomes. In order to qualify for a LEED neighborhood certification (a relatively new type of certification) the corner structure must be completed and certified first. Other residents raised concerns that an empty commercial space could prevent Scott from moving on to Phase II of the project (the remaining 11 townhomes), but he was firm in his guarantee that the project was financially structured such that a vacant commercial space would not prohibit Phase II construction.

Continue to check back for further updates on Carpenter Square and look for these Graduate Hospital properties to begin popping up in September 2012!

–By Brea Stover for