Ten Rittenhouse

Context

10 Rittenhouse Square seemed star-crossed from the start — a building conceived during the real estate boom of the mid-2000s, but actually born during the economic bust that slammed Philadelphia’s real estate market a few years later. Zoning snafus led to construction delays that ran hand-in-hand with the recession. The first closing didn‘t happen until late 2009. A development partner died, and another lost control of the property, as the main lender ended up wresting control in a case that ultimately landed in court.

Community

BLT Architects was called in to complete unfinished parts of the building including the public amenity floor, a seriously flawed space, in order to reposition the project to its rightful place in the market. The completed amenities included a pool, courtyard and fitness center, but the remaining space was an afterthought, lacking the appropriate height and compromised by enumerable structural and mechanical penetrations. Into this space was inserted, a temperature controlled wine cellar with individual resident lockers, a business center, club rooms, gallery , expanded fitness facility, and catering kitchen among other features. In addition, a boutique bicycle shop/ storage center and management office was added on another floor. All in all, BLTa’s job was to add the amenities the residents expect in the style to which they were entitled.  some much-needed grandeur.

Return on Design

Less than two years after its unsold units went to sheriff’s sale, 10 Rittenhouse Square is just 11 condos away from being sold out. That’s without an auction – which depresses values — and with prices on the remaining units cracking the $1,000-a-square-foot barrier, while resale prices often are topping $1 million. Once an afterthought for Philadelphia’s wealthy and cultured residents, 10 Rittenhouse Square now carries an elite reputation to match its elite address.

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