12/19/2014 – Progress Report

We are excited to report that the Liberties Gateway project is nearing completion. Although it may look like little progress has been made from the outside, much progress has been made inside the building. Fourteen apartments on the 2nd and 3rd floor are almost complete. All painting is done, kitchens and granite countertops have been installed, and beautiful hardwood cherry floors have been completed. Kitchen tile is almost complete, and brand new kitchen appliances are being installed. All energy-efficient LED lighting and closet shelving has been installed. All the heating, hot water and air conditioning units have been installed and are now functioning. We are waiting for final inspection on the elevator, which should happen shortly. A few more details need to be completed and the apartments will be ready to move in! We will start taking applications for rentals very soon – look here for updates.

Before we can receive an occupancy permit, we must complete the exterior. First the brick and limestone must be completed, and finally the curbs and sidewalks. Issues with the limestone façade have caused unforeseen delays holding up completion. The exterior is being constructed of a combination of brick and large limestone panels, some weighing thousands of pounds. They are custom cut in the state of Indiana, trucked to Philadelphia and then installed. To our dismay, the original limestone company that was contracted to manufacture the panels was not getting the work done for us, causing serious delays, and to top it off, they went bankrupt. This made it necessary to locate an alternate supplier to complete the limestone fabrication. Because this second supplier also took on work from other customers affected by the bankruptcy, deliveries of stone have been months behind the expected schedule. This situation has been frustrating for us, our employees, as well as our customers and Northern Liberties neighbors. We apologize for the delays, which have been largely out of our control. We want to finish this project as much as you want to see it done!

The good news is that last week we finally received a large shipment of limestone, so work has resumed on the exterior of the project. The final two shipments are expected very soon. If the weather continues to be favorable, the brick and limestone should be completed within a month. As soon as this is complete and the scaffolding is removed, then we can work on the sidewalks, weather permitting.

Meanwhile, much work is continuing daily inside on the new Penn Herb Company store. Drywall is almost complete, electrical wiring is nearing completion as is the plumbing. The beautiful large glass store windows were being installed this week and will be completed next week. Cabinetry for the new store is being custom built at the same time. Yes, there are still a lot of things that must be done for everything to come together – but the end is in sight. Although the exterior work is dependent on weather conditions, if all goes well, Liberties Gateway and the new Penn Herb Company store should be open for business in the first quarter 2015. Keep checking here for further updates.

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