David Adelman, CEO of the national student housing company Campus Apartments, is planning to continue development in West Philadelphia with a proposed residential building located in University City at 41st Street and Walnut Street. The building will contain 136 residential units, and will also serve as part of the company’s new corporate headquarters. Adelman already has experience with development in Philadelphia, as he is one of the key figures involved with the proposal for a new arena for the Philadelphia 76ers National Basketball Association (NBA) team.
The plan for the University City building is to combine all the company’s national housing operations into one office. Campus Apartments wants its office space to share the same building as residential units, which will help consolidate resources. In terms of why University City was chosen, Adelman stated, “There were some people saying, ‘hey, should we move to the suburbs?’ I personally was not going to let that happen. But we wanted to evaluate all of our options as we consolidate our headquarters.”
The building will accommodate around 30,000 square feet of office space, with room set aside for food services. The residential units haven’t quite been divided up yet, but Adelman is adamant that the building will include a mix of studio apartments, one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom apartments. Each unit is also expected to have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms in order to allow for more privacy for residents. There are also plans for a fitness center and shared study spaces to be available for residents. Overall, Campus Apartments estimates that the land will total around 162,000 square feet, and the building will be 10 or 11 stories tall.
In order to develop their new headquarters, Campus Apartments will be required to demolish two historic residential buildings at 4040 and 4042 Walnut St. However, the company already owns these buildings, with one being a fraternity house and the other being a small apartment building, and neither are protected from being demolished as they are not listed on the local historic register. The development also will not take advantage of the city’s zoning bonuses, as Adelman states that he does not want to overwhelm the townhouses in the surrounding area with the new headquarters’ presence.
Campus Apartments filed for their permits for the proposed building before Philadelphia City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier’s mandatory inclusionary zoning law went into effect, affecting real estate projects in University City. The zoning law requires any residential development with 10 units or more to price 20% of their available units below the market rate to ensure affordable housing options for lower-income community members.
Adelman said the timing was a coincidence, as the development had been proposed years before the permits were filed to the city. He went on to explain, “We have been contemplating this project for the last five or six years, doing our due diligence on where to move the office, and we finally did it. So the timing just was what it was.” The project promises to be an exciting move for the Campus Apartments company, as well as students and others looking for housing in the University City area.
More information found in | “A developer in the new Sixers arena is building 136 apartments and new office space in West Philly” | Jake Blumgart