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PHILADELPHIA-Toll Brothers unveiled Naval Square, the long-planned redevelopment of the 20-acre former US Navy property at 2420 Greys Ferry Ave. into a community of 1,200 residences. The Horsham-based national homebuilder won competition for development of the site and acquired it from the General Services Administration on behalf of the Department of the Navy for $1.2 million in 1988.

Paul Commito, director of acquisition and development for Toll Bros., tells GlobeSt.com the all-in cost of the project is approximately $350 million. The property once served as the Navy’s educational academy, hospital and home for retired sailors. It was decommissioned by President Gerald Ford in 1976 during the country’s bicentennial.

“Covenants in the deed, which will always remain with the property, require that development plans gain the approval of the state and federal government,” he says. “In addition, the approval of the local historical commission was also required. Plans went through a variety of iterations in order to gain consensus among all parties,” he says, acknowledging the process took longer than expected. “The result is well worth it.”

The result includes condominium and townhouse units in a mix of new construction and restoration and renovation of three buildings at the site that were designed in 1826 by architect William Strickland. The largest of them, Biddle Hall, a Greek-Revival structure, is being transformed into 66 condo units that will range in price from the low $300,000s per unit to more than $1 million, Commito says. Its 35-ft vaulted ceiling with a 10-sided skylight will be restored as the community’s public area. The smaller Surgeon General’s and Governor’s residences will contain six units each.

Three new buildings will join them in Phase I: the Admiral collection containing 75 townhouse units with prices starting in the $800,000s, the Commodore collection of 60 stacked townhouse units at sales beginning in the $600,000-range and the Strickland collection, a four-story condo building of 108 single-level units with prices beginning in the low $400,000s. Construction of Admiral has begun, and Phase I will be completed in about two years, Commito says.

Phase II on the western eight acres of the site will begin just prior to completion of phase I and contain the additional 879 residences in a mix of single-, bi-level and loft-style units, all in mid-rise buildings. Several architects, including Toll Bros.’ in-house team, are involved in the project, which will be in keeping with the Strickland buildings and “very Philadelphia,” Commito says. Both phases are expected to reach completion in 2012.

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