Published  Jun 20, 2017
Jun 20, 2017

Curbed Philadelphia

By: Melissa Romero

The "Fergie Tower" is working around the clock to finish construction

After topping out in January at 285 feet, the 26-story tower 1213 Walnut has started pre-leasing its 322 luxury apartments and is expected to be ready for early August move-ins.


Curbed Philly recently got a sneak peek of the tower in Washington Square West (the real estate and development world refers to this area as Midtown Village). While the 300,000-square-foot tower is still very much a construction zone, Todd Malligan, Goldenberg Group’s vice president of construction and development, says everything is on track for the first tenants to move in by the end of July or early August and for construction to finish up by late summer or early fall.

“We really just have cosmetic work to do,” Malligan said.

1213 Walnut, often referred to as the “Fergie Tower” due to its proximity to the Fergie Pub on Sansom Street, broke ground in December 2015 and topped out in January 2016. The tower is by far the tallest building on the block. Malligan says that’s why a large retail presence both on Walnut and Sansom streets was important.


“The neighborhood is really the building’s best amenity, so we wanted to engage the neighborhood by keeping activity on the street,” he said.

Indeed, the first two stories of the tower on Walnut Street will consist of a 6,000-square-foot restaurant. Malligan says the tenant is still to be determined, but given the space it will be above the restaurant is a community terrace for residents of 1213 Walnut.

The project also includes a covered driveway from Walnut to Sansom Street, which will be accented by a CorTen steel wall with planters and accessible to the public. The entrance to the residential building will be on this side street, as well.


Malligan says one idea for the covered street is to close it to traffic and host the occasional block party.

The residential portion of 1213 Walnut features a wealth of amenities, including a fireplace in the two-story lobby, and an amenity level that takes up the entire second floor of the building and features wood accents throughout made of, fittingly, Walnut. On that level, there will be three community outdoor spaces (there are four total in the building), including one for the fitness center, a dog run, and the community terrace fronting Walnut Street.

The 322 apartments include studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units that range in price from $1,819 for a 433-square-foot studio to $3,604 for an 830-square-foot two-bedroom rental. The 25th floor will include penthouse units with terraces facing both east and west.


The hard hat tour of recently finished model units revealed floor-to-ceiling windows, and the option for residents to choose between two different interior finishes: One offers darker Italian-crafted cabinetry and flooring than the other.

But of all of the high-end features and amenities at the tower, perhaps the most telling one is that the project does not include parking, although some residents will have access to the Parkway Parking garage next door.

That move was purposeful for Goldenberg Group and Hines Development, who from the beginning marketed 1213 Walnut as a walkable mixed-use project. Indeed, the December 2015 groundbreaking opted out of the traditional shovel-to-ground ceremony and instead installed bike racks along Sansom Street.

“Once upon a time, not having a parking garage with a project of this size was a non-starter,” Malligan said. “But we have to evolve with the urban renter professional and create spaces that can evolve. We wanted to reflect the persona of the neighborhood.”


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