Downsized Marina View Project Could Roll Out Again, Needs Improvement

Marina View, a failed 30-story, $100 million project proposed by developer Lou Cicalese in 2005 for Philadelphia’s Central Delaware Waterfront, could see new life as a scaled-down apartment building. As reported by the Philadelphia Business Journal, the developer has teamed up with the same contractors—Ensemble Real Estate Investments and BLT Architects—to build a 180-unit residential building at 230 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard on top of a 3-story podium base of structured parking.

Marina View, a failed 30-story, $100 million project proposed by developer Lou Cicalese in 2005 for Philadelphia’s Central Delaware Waterfront, could see new life as a scaled-down apartment building. As reported by the Philadelphia Business Journal, the developer has teamed up with the same contractors—Ensemble Real Estate Investments and BLT Architects—to build a 180-unit residential building at 230 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard on top of a 3-story podium base of structured parking.

The revised plan was submitted for review and approval with the Philadelphia Planning Commission early this week but, according to PlanPhilly.com, it needs further improvements before getting the final approval for development.

Reportedly, the commissioners’ main concern was the fact that the new “L”-shaped structure looks more like a parking garage and only approximately 50 percent of the Columbus Boulevard street frontage is dedicated to commercial. Also, the proposed 14-story mid-rise tower would hide a big part of the historic Ben Franklin Bridge and endangers the undeveloped archeology sites along Columbus Boulevard, while the pedestrian experience would be hindered by a 5 foot tall blank wall along the west sidewalk.

In response, Ensemble Real Estate attorney Carl Primavera and architect Megan Delevan stated that the design was revealed in its preliminary stages and the retaining wall is needed because the structure would be built in the flood plane and, as required, it needs to be elevated by five feet. Primavera added that the development team is looking for alternatives to preserve bridge views, but no major changes should be expected because of the area’s restrictive zoning regulations.

Rendering courtesy of PlanPhilly.com