Riparian Rights Settled, $300M Philadelphia Trump Tower to Break Ground

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell granted riparian rights to the Trump Tower Philadelphia last Friday, clearing the way for the developer, The Trump Organization, to move forward on the $300 million condominium project located on the Delaware River.  In a prepared statement, Eli Verschleiser, a partner with New York City-based Multi Capital Group, an equity partner in the Philadelphia Trump Tower, said: “The project will now break ground.” The revised schedule calls for construction to begin on the project in November, followed by a grand opening in 2009. A riparian right is the right of a property owner to make use of a body of water adjacent to the property. The planned tower will sit on a peninsula that juts out 700 feet into the Delaware River. In April 2006, Governor Rendell declared a moratorium on the issuance of riparian rights, temporarily stopping the project, which had been announced several months earlier. Pennsylvania had been issuing 99-year riparian rights leases for $1. But with casinos being planned along the Delaware, government officials decided that the Commonwealth could charge more. In June of last year, the Department of General Services recommended that developers pay a one-time fee of $5 per square foot of land for a 99-year lease. Each lease would include public access to the waterfront. The Pennsylvania legislature later added another fee of $1 per square foot of building space, half of which would go to the city’s Commerce Department and earmarked for the implementation of plans being made for the riverfront. Designed by Philadelphia-based Alesker & Dundon Architects, the 45-story tower will rise 528 feet and be the tallest structure on the Delaware River. It will feature a glass curtain wall that will provide a floor-to-ceiling window for each of the 263 condominiums. Prices will range from $750,000 to $3.5 million per unit.