By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, better known as the Mormon Church, is already building a new temple in Center City and now we get word of two new projects, including a massive new apartment building.
The Mormon Church has hired the noted New York architectural firm of Robert A. M. Stern to design both a new meetinghouse and a high rise apartment building. The projects will be built on vacant lots on the 16-hundred block of Vine Street, just one block from where the new Mormon Temple is currently going up.
Stern architect Paul Whalen says the two new buildings will fit in well.”The buildings will work together to extend the north wall of Logan Square, currently defined by the Free Library, the Family Court building, and the LDS Temple, which is currently under construction.”
Most notable is the apartment building, which is being built by the church for business purposes, so rental units are not limited to church members. Whalen says it will have more than 250 units.
“The residential tower will rise 32 floors with vertical bounds of windows and setbacks to articulate the facades, and a variety of rental apartments some with corner balconies providing views out to the city.”
Whalen says the tower will also include town homes and retail at the street level.”The tower meets the street at a pedestrian scale, with a low row of townhouses on Vine Street and another on Wood Street. The townhouse entrances will bring activity and a sense of safety to these streets.”
The meetinghouse will differ from the Temple in that it will be open to the public, while the Temple is limited to church members.
Officials from the church did not have an estimated price of the project, but they said no city, state or federal incentives are being used. The properties will be eligible for the city’s ten-year property tax abatement on new construction. No date for groundbreaking has been set. The Temple is due to be complete in two years.