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March 13, 2017

Second Jewelers Row property gets zoning approval for residential condos

PRDC: Permits sought to protect against potential limits spurred by Toll Brothers project

Real Estate Jewelers Row
Jewelers Row property zoning permit Google Maps/Screenshot

The Jewelry Trades Building at 740 Sansom St. houses more than 50 jewelry trade-related commercial tenants.

A second Jewelers Row property owner has secured zoning permits to add six floors of residential units overtop the city’s diamond district.

According to PRDC Properties LLC, which owns the Jewelry Trades Building at 740 Sansom St., housing more than 50 jewelry trade-related commercial tenants, the plans would put 54 residential units on top of the existing Great Depression-era structure.

PRDC Properties LLC said in a statement to PhillyVoice that it applied for the permits in a "preemptive move" to protect against and curtail potential city-enforced limitations on future development along Jewelers Row spurred by the recent backlash aimed at the ongoing Toll Brothers project down the street.

The Toll Brothers project, which is underway, despite pushback, including from Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and members of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, includes the demolition and construction of a new 115-unit, 29-story condo tower with residential and retail space.

Toll Brothers /for PhillyVoice

Jewelers Row condo tower renderings show glass-walled units that will offer prospective condo owners clear views of Washington Square Park.

PRDC Properties LLC said in a statement on behalf of the Jewelry Trades Building that the recent development down the street has prompted “considerable uncertainty in terms of potential restrictions on future development.”

“Though we have refrained from taking an affirmative position on the matter, we consider it our responsibility to protect our tenants and our asset from any agenda-driven limitations that city agencies may seek to impose on Jeweler’s Row and the surrounding area. 

Consequently, it was incumbent upon us to take preemptive steps to obtain zoning approvals for the kinds of activities we anticipate may be subject to such limitations, irrespective of any present plans to pursue development at this time.”

The company has refrained from commenting further on construction plans at this time.