By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new apartment building, with a restaurant and retail space, is being built in center city.

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Today, a ceremonial groundbreaking was held for the upcoming “AQ Rittenhouse,” a mixed-use tower at 20th and Chestnut Streets.

Mayor Michael Nutter says it’s all part of the planned revitalization of once-elegant Chestnut Street.

“It was a terribly blighted building, and through the (Philadelphia) Redevelopment Authority we were able to ultimately move it to private ownership,” the mayor told KYW Newsradio.  “They partnered with the charter school.”

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One floor of the new building is being reserved for expansion of the adjacent Freire Charter High School.

“We are repurposing, rebuilding, revitalizing, renewing, what was once the old YWCA annex,” says Leonard Poncia, president and managing partner of Aquinas Realty Partners, describing the 12-story luxury apartment building as “providing tremendous amenities — from the second-floor courtyard garden to the rooftop sky terrace to the community rooms, yoga rooms, extensive bike storage, to the dog walk.  We’ve got it all.”

The building is expected to be completed by early 2015.


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