Dec 1, 2021 - Real Estate

Take a look at the 34-story high-rise coming to Ben Franklin Parkway

A rendering of the 34-story Two Cathedral Square.
A rendering of the 34-story Two Cathedral Square. Image courtesy of EQT Exeter

Philly's iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway is getting a new addition, and it's 34 stories tall, curvy and lined with bronze tones.

What's happening: Real estate investment firm EQT Exeter recently unveiled the final renderings for Two Cathedral Square in Logan Square.

  • The developer says the 470-foot building will bring a heap of new work, retail and residential space to the area.

State of play: The site, located adjacent to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, is the parkway's first office building in nearly four decades.

  • The project costs are expected to exceed $400 million, EQT Exeter principal Bryan Lamb told Axios.
  • The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, a partner in the development, will issue a ground lease to EQT Exeter for 99 years.

Flashback: The archdiocese pitched building a high-rise beside the basilica in 2016 as a move to boost its cash-strapped finances amid dropping church attendance.

  • The archdiocese declined to comment.
A rendering of the inside of the development project Two Cathedral Square.
A rendering of the inside of the development project Two Cathedral Square. Image courtesy of EQT Exeter

By the numbers: Two Cathedral Square will include:

  • 450,000 square feet of office space, 250,000 square feet of residential rental space and 4,500 square feet of first-floor retail space.
  • Amenities: Five terraces, which include roof gardens and a pool.

Between the lines: Two Cathedral Square will be the second of two phases at the 2.3-acre site.

  • A 23-story tower, dubbed One Cathedral Square, broke ground in November 2020 behind the basilica.
  • The first phase includes 273 residential units with retail on the ground floor. Some units are expected to become available by September 2022, Lamb said.
A rendering of an entrance to the development project Two Cathedral Square.
A rendering of an entrance to the development project Two Cathedral Square. Image courtesy of EQT Exeter.

What they're saying: The development's location — near the Parkway Central Library and other city landmarks — makes the project unique, said Mitch Marcus, a managing director for JLL, the leasing broker for the development.

  • "There's nothing like it," Marcus added.

What to watch: Construction has yet to begin, but the completion date is expected to be late 2023, subject to EQT Exeter securing an anchor office tenant.

  • Potential rents for the residential apartments have yet to be determined, Lamb said.
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