W. Philly apartment tower, community center and church project breaks ground Thursday

university city 38chestnut rendering
A rendering of the proposed 38Chestnut apartment tower and glass community center adjoining the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. Courtesy of Radnor Property Group

A ground-breaking ceremony is taking place at 2 p.m. Thursday at 38th and Chestnut streets in West Philadelphia, where a new apartment tower is being built in conjunction with the expansion of the 150-year-old church next door.

“This is a unique situation,” said David Yeadon, president of Radnor Property Group, which is developing the project. “I’m not aware of anything else in Philadelphia that is engaging the community like this.”

On the corner, a new 25-story residential tower, to be known as 38Chestnut, is planned to be built with 276 units of market rate housing aimed at graduate students and professionals.

The new addition to University City is planned to include a fitness center, a green roof with a Zen garden, underground parking, attached office space and ground floor retail.

The collaborative project with the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral was designed over three years.

“It’s been a long-time dream. We are thankful to God for coming this far by faith. We’ve overcome many obstacles,” said the Cathedral’s dean, The Very Rev. Judith A. Sullivan.

Plans call for an early learning center for children in the undercroft of the church, with scholarships available for about 37 percent of the children enrolled.

A glass community center planned between the church and the apartment tower will be open to neighbors and community groups.

It’s the first major project for the church since it was rebuilt in 1906 following a fire, Sullivan said.

Twenty percent of the project’s $110 million budget will be covered by federal New Markets tax credits, Yeadon said, which subsidized the community center and cathedral projects.

“This enables the cathedral to preserve and maintain itself; that’s really the gem of the block,” Yeadon said.

The apartments are expected to be available for occupancy in summer 2015.

The groundbreaking ceremony will begin in the cathedral at 3701 Chestnut St. at 2 p.m. Thursday, and continue outside the future location of 38Chestnut, 13-19 South 38th St.


Follow Sam Newhouse on Twitter: @scnewhouse

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia


'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…


British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…


DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.


Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.


‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…


Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…


TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version


MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win


Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance


Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.


Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.


What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.


Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.


Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."