Eastern Tower Community Center Breaks Ground in Chinatown, Philadelphia

The center will unite the Philadelphia neighborhood after it was bisected by the Vine Street Expressway

The Harman Group celebrated the groundbreaking of the long-awaited Eastern Tower Community Center in Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood during a ceremony on Friday, October 6th. The 20-story, 195,000 square-foot mixed-use community center at 10th and Vine Streets has been in development for over six years, and is part of a long-term plan to reintegrate the neighborhood after it was bisected by the Vine Street Expressway.

The Eastern Tower Community Center will contribute to the long-term growth of Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood. Bookending the 10th Street commercial corridor, the development will include ground-floor retail space, a community center that will offer bilingual social and health services, recreation and event spaces, a fitness center, and 15 residential floors containing 150 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The apartments will also offer sweeping views of the Philadelphia skyline and the Delaware Riverfront.

The Harman Group is providing structural engineering on the project, which was developed by a public-private partnership between the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) and JNA Capital. Studio Agoos Lovera is the architect. The owners and design team worked closely with the Chinatown community to ensure the project would meet the neighborhood’s needs.

The project is located in a high traffic area, which made it challenging to keep construction costs in line. After careful analysis and planning, The Harman Group decided on long-span steel for the community center and cast-in-place concrete for the residential tower.

“Our forte is finding the best construction system to fit the budget and get the project built,” said Janis Vacca, vice president and principal of The Harman Group. “The Eastern Tower Community Center is a state-of-the-art development that not only caters to residents, but truly reflects the heart of Chinatown.”

Construction of the center is estimated to take roughly 18-26 months to complete.

Learn more by visiting CityBizList and AIA Philadelphia.