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January 27, 2023

11-story apartment building proposed at site of former Rite Aid in Center City

Walnut Rendering Main Courtesy/BLT Architects

An 11-story apartment building with 172 units and ground-floor commercial space is proposed at 2301 Walnut St., where a Rite Aid with a surface parking lot closed last summer.

Last year, Rite Aid closed a pair of stores in Center City as part of a broad plan to shut down 145 underperforming pharmacies nationwide. The move tracked with a similar decision from CVS, which announced a much more aggressive cut of 900 stores in the United States.

The closure of the Rite Aid at 2301 Walnut St. opened up prime real estate in Center City, and we now have a better idea of what developers aim to do with the parcel. 

A proposal submitted to the city's Civic Design Review panel calls for an 11-story apartment building with 172 units at the corner of 23rd and Walnut Streets.

The project would include 8,186 square feet of ground floor commercial space and 32 underground parking spaces. The proposal also calls for a 5,000-square-foot public plaza on the west side of the building. 

Below are some project renderings from BLT Architects.

Walnut Rendering TwoCourtesy/BLT Architects

A rendering of 2301 Walnut St.

Walnut Street ThreeCourtest/BLT Architects

A rendering of 2301 Walnut St.

Walnut Street FourCourtesy/BLT Architects

A rendering of 2301 Walnut St.

Walnut Proposal PlazaCourtesy/BLT Architects

A rendering of the proposed plaza at 2301 Walnut St.

Creating homes in new, mixed-use buildings where businesses like Rite Aid and CVS once stood alone is an encouraging sign. A couple years ago, after the CVS at Broad Street and Girard Avenue closed, plans were revealed for a seven-story apartment building with 171 units and a ground-floor Lidl supermarket at a prime location for public transit. Meanwhile, CVS is preparing to open a new store on the ground floor of the 84-unit development at the corner of 2nd Street and Girard Avenue in Northern Liberties.

The CDR hearing for the Walnut Street proposal is scheduled for Feb. 7. As of now, zoning permits have not been issued for the by-right project.