The offices in the General Ledger Building can be converted into apartments
The New York-based owners of the west side of the Public Ledger Building are considering converting much of the office space into multifamily rental housing.
The ground floor offices currently occupied by the Center City District are the only portion of the portion of the building owned by Baycrest Properties & Management that is not being considered for apartments or tenant amenities.
“The building is in good shape. The feeling among the owners is that this would be an asset to the community and might make the building a bigger part of the community if it were more occupied,” said Jerry Roller, principal at JKRP Architects of Philadelphia, which worked for Baycrest. Conversion possibilities.
Roller stressed that the licenses for 265 apartments are not a final or final proposal. JKRP has conducted two conversion studies for this portion of the General Ledger Building, but they have not gone any further yet, he said.
The owner “wants options as to what to do with the building. “Office leasing is having difficulties, and he is looking at other options,” Roller said. “There are a number of housing options around Washington Square that seem to be doing well. That’s why he got this permit because it gives him the possibility of doing something else.
Baycrest’s shareholder, Shea Strom, did not respond to a request for comment.
The historic structure that fills City Hall between Chestnut and Sansom streets and Sixth and Seventh streets has been carved into multiple residential units. Baycrest purchased the west side of the Public Ledger Building in 2018 for $32 million.
Wawa has its space in the northeast corner facing Independence Hall. The rest of the eastern section is owned by Carlisle Development Purchase Group, which converted much of its lot to residential before the pandemic.
Baycrest permits indicate that residential rental units will be located on floors two through 10, and on portions of floors 11 and 12. The rest of these two upper floors will be used for “resident amenity spaces” that will go to the existing historic spaces. Dance halls.
Some tenants still occupy space on the upper floors, but like many of the city’s older office buildings, General Ledger has been plagued by vacancy issues since the pandemic.
“I’ve been told they’re having challenges with full leasing,” Roller said.
Historic office buildings like 150 S. Independence Mall are prime targets for this type of office-to-residential conversion because they have smaller floor plans, giving future tenants greater access to windows and lighting.
“These buildings are perfect for that because they have these giant windows, great atrium walkways, and the ornate finishes are really nice,” said Paul Levy, president of the Center City District, a business leadership organization.
Philadelphia has a strong track record for such conversions of historic buildings, which is part of the reason there have been few other major proposals to convert beleaguered offices into apartments: Many of the easier projects have already been completed.
The only other major example of a potential conversion after 2020 is Alterra Property Group’s proposal to convert 1701 Market St. To a residential building consisting of 325 units. The developer withdrew permits for the project in July.
This building is currently fully occupied by the law firm Morgan & Lewis, which is moving west to a new office building at 2222 Market St. Total future vacancy is one reason it has attracted the attention of multifamily developers: Many other distressed office buildings are on their way out. At least partially occupied and has leases expiring at various times.
Levy said that although Baycrest’s permits call for the area occupied by the downtown area to remain “professional office space,” his organization will likely move to a different space downtown by the time the conversion is complete.
“Maybe we won’t be here a year from now,” he added.
(tags for translation) Converting the general ledger building to apartments and offices