PHILADELPHIA-Turchi Inc., the locally based developer of three Center City multifamily rental conversions, is transforming the former AAA parking garage at 23 South 23rd St., which was built in 1912, into an 80-unit luxury condo complex. Called 23: A Condominium, it contains lofts, one- and two-bedroom units, and as many as 12 two-story penthouses.

Prices range from $350,000 to $2.5 million, and John Turchi, chairman and CEO, tells, “at least one buyer is taking two penthouses and turning them into a single unit.” The conversion includes adding two floors to create a 12-story building and demolition of the building’s central core to make way for a 75- by 75-ft interior courtyard. Construction cost, Turchi says, is approximately $40 million. Architect is locally based Cope Linder. Completion is scheduled for September 2005.

The property is at the edge of University City, a neighborhood of high current activity. Brandywine Realty Trust’s Cira Centre, the first new office tower built here in a decade, for example, is under construction nearby. In addition, the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University are both planning extensions that will further link the area west of the Schuylkill River with Center City. 23: A Condominium’s proximity to 30th Street Station is another plus that Turchi says is attracting “commuters from New York.” He cites new projects at Rittenhouse Square and the upgrading of Chestnut St. as additional contributors to the neighborhood’s revitalization.

New York City-based Amalgamated Bank is providing $30.5 million in construction financing from its Long View Ultra Construction Loan Investment Fund, which is available only for projects that use 100% union labor. The project receives the 10-year tax abatement, instituted here in 1997 for new residential construction and conversions of vacant office and industrial properties into residential facilities.

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