October 23, 2017

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Issues Call For Request for Qualifications From Developers Regarding Proposed Cathedral Block Redevelopment

Contextual Background

In the summer of 2012, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced its intention to market a number of real estate holdings. One parcel included the Holy Family Center (227 North 18th Street; Philadelphia, PA 19103) and the northern portion of the parking lot of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center, which encompasses the length of Vine Street from 17th Street to 18th Street in Center City. No transaction was reached for that particular parcel.

Subsequently, the Archdiocese began to examine alternate plans for the redevelopment of a larger portion of the nearly four acre property it owns fronting Logan Square and running the length of 17th Street to 18th Street between Race and Vine Streets. In the summer and fall of 2016 initial plans were drawn up for the potential redevelopment of 2.32 acres of this property.

The remaining 1.62 acres contain the historic Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, its adjacent chapel, and the Cathedral’s Rectory. Any potential redevelopment would be required to respect the sacred and architectural importance of those structures.

Initial concepts included the possibility of redevelopment (with the potential of demolition) for three modern structures on site: the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center (built in 1969), the Holy Family Center (built in 1960), and the former convent for the Cathedral (built in 1957). The result would provide a clear L-shaped parcel open to development. Renderings illustrating two high rise towers, mixed residential and retail space, gardens, and walkways were shared with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association last year and received a positive reception.

Today’s Announcement

Today, the Archdiocese is announcing that it has formally put forward a “Request for Qualifications” (RFQ) from developers interested in pursuing this redevelopment opportunity, which envisions a ground lease of no more than 60 years.

Any project would need to respect the integrity of the Cathedral and its rectory. If necessary, the Archdiocese would consider moving staff from the current property to another location in Center City within a 1-2 block radius of the Cathedral.

It is anticipated that several developers will participate in the RFQ process and that the project will be put out to bid in early 2018.


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Contact: Kenneth A. Gavin
Chief Communications Officer
215-587-3747 (office)