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Ensemble/Mosaic Announces Plans for Chapel Block, the First Residential Development at the Navy Yard Since the 1996 Base Closure

Ensemble/Mosaic today announced plans to develop the first residential complex to be built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard as part of its agreement with PIDC. The company plans to break ground on the project in 2022 and open the complex in 2024.

“Ensemble/Mosaic is on the cusp of reaching a longstanding, identity-shifting objective – to evolve the Navy Yard into a fully functioning Philadelphia neighborhood,” said Brian Cohen, Senior Vice President, Ensemble. “We are incredibly excited at the prospect of creating a vibrant and diverse residential community so people may further enjoy this unique location and all it has to offer.”

Located at 1200 Normandy Place, the complex, called Chapel Block, will include a seven-story building and two connected six-story buildings. In total, it will offer 611 luxury and mixed-income apartments offering 40 different unit sizes and bedroom configurations, and options for furnished and unfurnished units.

It will also include 75,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor resident amenity space and 26,000 square feet of space for restaurants and retail. All three buildings are designed to meet a minimum of LEED® Silver certification from the United States Green Building Council, providing for a sustainable and healthy living experience.

Design Informed by the Pandemic

“The pandemic was foremost in our thinking as we developed this project, keeping in mind the new realities of how people work, value outdoor access and are concerned about indoor ventilation,” said Leslie Smallwood-Lewis, Founder and Owner, Mosaic. “Home should be every resident’s ‘safe place,’ and our goal has been to incorporate as much as we can of what we have learned in the last 18 months so that residents will be comfortable and secure in their homes here.”

Some of the steps the team has taken include:

  • A significant number of units will include areas to accommodate working from home, with separate offices or built-in work areas.
  • Proximity to three parks: five-acre Central Green with a running track, outdoor table tennis, bocce, cross-fit station, amphitheater, and picnic areas; three-acre League Island Park, a natural and serene park for lounging and working; and eight-acre Marine Parade Grounds, a historic public space that provides fields for sport leagues, food trucks, and large outdoor events.
  • LEED certification with an emphasis on a healthy living environment with high indoor air quality.
  • Expanded building amenity offerings and areas to work from outside of apartments.

Chapel Block: A Community of Three Buildings, Dozens of Options

Chapel Block takes its name from the historic Chapel constructed by the Navy in 1942 on the southeast corner of the block to be developed.  The chapel is now occupied by the Chapel of the Four Chaplains and Memorial Foundation, dedicated to promoting interfaith cooperation and selfless service of individuals and organizations. It honors the moving story of four chaplains who died while saving many lives when The Dorchester, a U.S. Army transport ship (USAT), was sunk in the waters of Newfoundland during World War Two.

“One of the most interesting aspects of developing in the Navy Yard is that we are surrounded by critical U.S. history on a daily basis,” said Cohen. “This is a place filled with stories of bravery and heroism. It is an inspiring location and one we love to share with residents, employees and visitors.”

The seven-story building will be developed on the north end of the Chapel Block site in partnership with Korman Communities under their exciting residential real estate brand, “AVE.”

AVE Navy Yard will feature 265 luxury units, a portion of which will be reserved as flexible-stay, fully furnished apartments offered on a monthly basis for individuals who need a temporary living option. On-demand amenities will include a resort pool, media theatre, fire pit lounge, grilling stations, executive meeting spaces, a golf simulator, music studio, and pet spa.

“We are thrilled to partner with Ensemble/Mosaic on this exciting project,” said Bradley J. Korman, co-CEO of Korman Communities. “Philadelphia is our home, and we are honored to be a part of this incredible opportunity to develop what will become one of the most desirable locations to live, work, and play in the region.”

On the south end of Chapel Block, the two six-story buildings will form a mixed-income project containing 346 market rate and affordable units.  It is designed as two separate structures and will be connected on the ground floor by shared amenities including a fitness center, business center, lounge areas, a game area, a party room with gourmet kitchen, pet spa, and bike storage.  The connected buildings are situated around a private courtyard with lounge seating fire pits and grill stations.

“Chapel Block will change the Navy Yard in many exciting ways. This addition of new  mixed-income residential for the first time since the naval base was closed over two decades ago will serve not only the employees and visitors of the Navy Yard, but everyone who lives on site, too,” said Kate McNamara, PIDC’s Senior Vice President, Navy Yard.

The complex is designed by a partnership of two architectural firms, Philadelphia-based DIGSAU, the design architect, which has designed several buildings in the Navy Yard, and Moody Nolan, the architect of record, headquartered in Columbus, OH. Moody Nolan is the 2021 AIA Firm of the Year and the largest minority owned architecture firm in the country.

“Two exceptional architectural firms have banded together to bring us a design that will change the Navy Yard for decades by creating residential opportunities for people from all walks of life,” said Smallwood-Lewis. “We are excited that they have brought opportunity to many smaller and specialty firms, as more than 50% of the design work is being done by 15 different MBE/WBE-certified firms in Philadelphia and around the country.”

Through its development agreement with PIDC, Ensemble/Mosaic will redevelop 109 acres of land through renovation and ground-up construction, including Chapel Block. The developer will invest $2.6B – with all funds fully committed to ESG (environmental, social and governance) – over the next two decades, of which $1B has been commitment to DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion.)

After the naval base closure in 1996, the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Navy Yard, and its partners envisioned the redevelopment of the space into a thriving mixed-use campus, restoring it as an economic engine for the city. Over the last two decades, the Navy Yard has attracted 170 businesses employing more than 15,000 personnel.

Ensemble/Mosaic is working with PIDC and the U.S. Navy to complete the technical steps necessary to lift the residential deed restriction on this parcel.

“We thank our partners at the Navy for working with us to on this new development, which will further the Navy Yard’s position as one of Philadelphia’s most unique business campuses and evolving neighborhoods,” added McNamara.

Ensemble/Mosaic Launches a Bold, Systemic $2.6B Environmental, Social & Governance Commitment at the Navy Yard

Partnership has Committed $7.5 Million to 21 Certified Minority and Women, Design & Engineering Firms to Lift Off $1B Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Pledge

Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners (Ensemble/Mosaic) today announced it has launched its ambitious Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) program at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the bedrock of its plan to develop 109 acres of the campus.

“We believe our $2.6B ESG initiative to be one of the most significant commitments by any developer for any development in our country,” said Kam Babaoff, Co-Founder and Chairman of Ensemble Real Estate Solutions & Investments. “And, as part of this ambitious plan, we are committing $1B to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives – again, likely the largest pledge ever in our industry. Dedication to ESG, and specifically the DEI principals within it, will drive lasting positive change in this city because it will be built by Philadelphians for Philadelphians.”

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Navy Yard, and Ensemble/Mosaic are partnering on the 2022 Philadelphia Navy Yard Plan Update. Ensemble/Mosaic will invest the $2.6 billion of development in the 1200-acre campus over the next two decades. The venture anticipates breaking ground on its first buildings – among them 1201 Normandy Place – in the fourth quarter of 2021.

A cornerstone of this ESG program is the partnership’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy.

“PIDC set the tone for DEI in their request for proposal, and we felt inspired to create a plan with great scope and depth,” said Leslie Smallwood-Lewis, Principal of Mosaic, a minority-owned business enterprise. “Our DEI commitment will provide meaningful equity and capacity-building contracting opportunities for minority, women, veteran and disabled-owned business enterprises (MWVDBE) over the next two decades and we are excited to help create lasting change.”

Ensemble/Mosaic began deploying this strategy in the initial phase of development through the hiring of 20 local and national MWVDBE design and engineering firms such as Moody Nolan – the largest African American architecture firm in the nation and the “2021 AIA Firm of the Year”, Kelly Maiello and Rodriguez Consulting. Those commitments, representing approximately 50% ($7.5M) of the total allocation for design, have been made since the partnership was awarded the development rights by PIDC less than four months ago.

ESG Criteria as the North Star

ESG is a set of criteria created by an organization to guide socially responsible decisions. It includes environmental sustainability, such as impact on climate change or carbon footprint, recycling and water management; social impact through diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and organizational values; and governance, including partnership diversity, the auditing of DEI initiatives and  representation on boards and committees.

“From the moment we committed to answering the request for proposal from PIDC, ESG has been our north star,” said Greg Reaves, Principal of Mosaic. “Every decision we make, from design to development to neighborhood creation is through the lens of our ESG strategy.”

After the naval base closure in 1996, the City of Philadelphia, PIDC and its partners envisioned the redevelopment of the space into a thriving mixed-use campus, restoring it as an economic engine for the city. Over the last two decades, the Navy Yard has successfully attracted 150 businesses employing more than 15,000 personnel to the site with new development planned to further its position as one of Philadelphia’s most unique business campuses and evolving neighborhoods.

Through its development agreement with PIDC, Ensemble/Mosaic will redevelop 109 acres  of land through renovation and ground-up construction. The 20-year project includes the creation of additional office, laboratories and clean spaces, retail, restaurants and hotels, and residential buildings, parks, greenways and amenities.

“The Navy Yard has reestablished itself as a successful platform for job creation with a focus on innovation, production, and sustainability, and I commend PIDC and Ensemble/Mosaic on their shared vision and alignment of goals, which will further spur equitable growth in Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “This unparalleled commitment to ESG sets the new standard for socially responsible, inclusive development in Philadelphia while providing countless benefits for Philadelphians for years to come.”

Bringing Meaningful, Measurable Change

Ensemble and Mosaic formed a partnership with the objective of focusing on redeveloping the Navy Yard by creating opportunities for diverse participants in every aspect of development.

To illustrate, Babaoff and Reaves broke down some of the many ESG-focused programs in motion or development, with a particular focus on DEI, such as:

  • Minority, Women, Veteran and Disabled-Owned Businesses Enterprises will equitably participate in every phase of the development cycle (design, construction and operations) at some of the highest levels ever achieved for a project of this size and scale. (See chart)
  • Minority Equity Investment ensures up-to-20% of the equity investment will be provided by minorities and minority-owned firms.
  • A Community Investment Platform will offer the opportunity for local low-and-moderate-income individuals to invest, through crowdfunding, collectively up to 5% of the equity in each project.
  • A Charitable Foundation, initially funded by a $1M commitment by Ensemble/Mosaic with continued funding from a percentage of the project’s net cash flow, will actively support and promote the development and economic empowerment of minorities and women.
  • An ongoing commitment to providing Housing Affordability for 15% of all residential units.
  • A minimum of a 35% Diverse Workforce during the construction of buildings with minority, female, veteran and disabled workforce.
  • A commitment to a minimum of 50% Local Workforce during construction from the Greater Philadelphia region.
  • MWVDBE Retail Opportunities by providing a minimum of 25% of all retail to firms with subsidized lease terms.
  • Internship program with local universities will bring opportunities to minority and female students in the Delaware Valley.

“The Navy Yard continues to be an economic engine for our region, and we are now focused on creating even more meaningful change. Ensemble/Mosaic is dedicating tremendous energy, time and financial commitment with its investment directed toward minority, women, disabled and veteran-owned companies,” said Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, who represents the Navy Yard within the Second District. “This $1B pledge and each individual commitment will make an enormous difference to companies and individuals over the next 20 years.”

Pushing the Boundaries of Sustainability

“There is a long history of leadership around sustainability at the Philadelphia Navy Yard – from pilot programs for stormwater and autonomous shuttles to an 8MW peak-shaving battery back-up and Pennsylvania’s first community solar project, just to name a few,” said Kate McNamara, PIDC’s Senior Vice President, Navy Yard. “The campus already contains more than a dozen LEED certified buildings ranging from Certified to Double Platinum, and Ensemble/Mosaic’s commitment to sustainable development and management will continue to set the pace in our region and across the nation.”

Each Ensemble/Mosaic development project will be designed to achieve a LEED Silver or higher standard, demonstrably saving energy, water and other natural resources for the city and its residents. To carry these goals further, Ensemble/Mosaic has assembled a team of progressive design leaders, placemaking idea generators, and transportation futurists to create Philadelphia’s first LEED Certified Neighborhood Development at the Navy Yard.

LEED Neighborhood (LEED-ND) Development is a program engineered to inspire and help create better, more sustainable, well-connected neighborhoods, looking beyond the scale of buildings to consider entire communities. The Navy Yard will be one of the first of its kind designed with this new approach.

“One of the first things that really struck us as we went through the selection process for a development partner was Ensemble/Mosaic’s shared passion for the creation of an intentional and inclusive economic opportunity initiatives plan,” added McNamara. “We are excited that Ensemble/Mosaic quickly launched this plan concurrent with its development projects. This fresh approach will support the Navy Yard’s growth and positively impact generations of Philadelphia residents and businesses.”

 

Appendix 1: List of 21 MWVDBE Firms (alphabetized)

These firms are currently participating and are included in the $7.5M commitments in process.

 

Appendix 2: MWBE Representation Chart

PIDC and Ensemble/Mosaic Execute Navy Yard Development Agreement, Launching $2.5 Billion Development Plan

Media Contacts: Robbie Tarpley Raffish, a.s.a.p.r. (for Ensemble/Mosaic) 410-430-9705; Jessica Calter, PIDC, 215-496-8161

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, in partnership with Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners, today announced the execution of an agreement which provides Ensemble/Mosaic with the exclusive development rights for 109 acres at the Navy Yard and launches a $2.5 billion development plan that will create thousands of construction and permanent jobs.

The $400 million first phase includes development of two advanced life sciences buildings followed by significant residential and hospitality initiatives. Ensemble/Mosaic will construct a +/-100,000 square foot speculative laboratory and office development at 1201 Normandy Place with anticipated delivery by the close of 2022. The partners will concurrently market 333 Rouse Boulevard, which can accommodate a 120,000 square foot build-to-suit facility, for opportunities with cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice) manufacturers. Upon completion of these buildings the Navy Yard will eclipse one million square feet of life sciences space.

“Execution of the development agreement with Ensemble and Mosaic and commencement of their initial life sciences projects will launch the next exciting chapter of development at the Navy Yard.  Expanding this vibrant life sciences hub will bring high quality jobs to the Navy Yard, support growing companies in the advanced life sciences sector, and contribute to development of this dynamic campus that is already home to 15,000 employees,” said Kate McNamara, Senior Vice President, PIDC. “Equally exciting, our agreement includes one of the most intentional and inclusive economic opportunity initiatives in the history of this city.”

Ensemble Owned and Ensemble Mosaic Development Rights at the Navy Yard

Mosaic Development Partners is a Philadelphia based firm which specializes in commercial and mixed-use development. Since 2012, Mosaic has secured and invested more than $120 million in Philadelphia neighborhoods, bringing quality retail, commercial, recreational, and residential space to communities of color, along with hundreds of construction and full-time jobs.

Smallwood-Lewis said, “For the last eight years, Mosaic has built profitably with community and cultural sensitivity in mind, and this project is in many ways a culmination of our experience to date. The next phase of development Navy Yard represents a unique opportunity to build community and add density, while making the most of the waterfront access and incredible open spaces that have already grown in use and importance during this past year. It is an exciting time, and we are pleased to partner with PIDC and Ensemble in this effort.”

The agreement, which was initially announced last July, will guide the growth and expansion of the former military base and will further establish the Navy Yard as a vibrant and inclusive mixed-use community. Ensemble/Mosaic ultimately envisions approximately 3,000 residential units and nearly three million square feet of life science manufacturing, R&D, office, hotels, makerspace and retail space when complete.

Phase One of Ensemble/Mosaic development at the Navy Yard

Expanding Life Science Capacity is a Top Priority

The building at 1201 Normandy Place is designed by DIGSAU, an award-winning contemporary architecture firm, in collaboration with CRB, a global architecture and engineering firm, which together aims to set a new standard for innovation. Philadelphia-based DIGSAU has designed five buildings in the Navy Yard. CRB is a preeminent designer for life science manufacturing and laboratory environments.

The four-story facility targeting LEED Gold certification is conceived with flexibility at the forefront. Its 30,000 square foot floor plates with 16’ floor-to-floor heights will provide lab and clinical manufacturing-ready environments for ATMP (advanced therapy medicinal products) and life science companies. Spaces between 5,000 to 100,000 square feet will be available, maximizing both efficiency and optionality for the company’s operations.

“Located minutes from University City, the home of cell and gene therapy research, the Navy Yard is a critical component in the growth of life science companies in the region. It will allow companies to incubate, commercialize and manufacture within 15 minutes of each other and an international airport,” said Seltzer. “Our new buildings will create much-needed inventory for the incredible demand for space in this sector.”

The preliminary concept for 333 Rouse Boulevard is a 120,000 square foot facility providing office, laboratory space, cGMP manufacturing, warehousing and conditioned indoor mechanical space for plant and critical utilities. The manufacturing area will support interior ceiling heights up to 16’ and provide floor heights designed to facilitate cGMP manufacturing with walkable cleanroom ceiling systems.

The project provides for a balance of short-term efficiency and long-term flexibility, making it an ideal home to life sciences companies seeking immediate functionality and the ability to grow in place. This project is being designed by DIGSAU and IPS-Integrated Projects Services, LLC, a locally founded company that ranks as one of the top biologics, cell and gene therapy design firms in the world solely dedicated to designing, constructing and qualifying cGMP facilities.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy Drives Development

A key aspect of the vision of this dynamic and vibrant campus is that it provides opportunities for all Philadelphians. To that end, the partners are committed to deploying a robust and novel approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all elements of the 109 acres in the agreement.

“From the teams we assemble to design and build the buildings, to the projects and people who will occupy them, the Navy Yard will be a more inclusive place for all,” said Reaves. “Our collective goal is to create a national model that combines institutional development and inclusive strategies in new and exciting ways.”

This holistic inclusion strategy provides tremendous opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) participation. This will include diverse equity ownership with an innovative crowd-funding component, substantial M/WBE participation in construction and operations, inclusion of local and M/WBE small businesses in retail and makerspace opportunities, a paid internship program with Cheyney University, and the allocation of a share of net income to a charitable foundation that will create new opportunities for young people in Philadelphia. Additional details will be released at another time.

“These and other initiatives will attract female and minority students in high school and college from across the region and the country who are interested in pursuing a career in commercial real estate, construction, architecture and design. It’s not just about planning and building for now, it’s about doing so for the future, too,” Reaves added.

Background

In September 2019, PIDC put out a call for prospective partners through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). PIDC received more than 35 responses to the RFQ in December 2019. Based on the RFQ criteria, five highly experienced teams were shortlisted and invited to submit full proposals in response to a comprehensive Request for Proposals (RFP). After detailed review and evaluation of the proposals and virtual team interviews with an Advisory Panel, PIDC selected the Ensemble/Mosaic co-development team in July 2020.

In January 2021, PIDC and Ensemble/Mosaic released a Request for Proposals (RFP) opportunity for large-scale comprehensive master planning at the Navy Yard. The team sought proposals from qualified, experienced, diverse, and inclusive planning, design, and engineering firms to develop and deliver a comprehensive master plan. The 2021 Navy Yard Master Plan Update will establish a dynamic, cohesive, and achievable placemaking vision and development framework as the Navy Yard embarks on its next phase of expansion and growth. An announcement about the master plan firm will be made in the coming weeks.

PIDC retained JLL in early 2019 to advise in this selection of a development partner. JLL supported PIDC throughout the RFQ and RFP processes, and assisted PIDC with development agreement negotiations.

Click for additional information about PIDC, the Navy Yard, Ensemble, or Mosaic.

Philadelphia Navy Yard Development Team Releases Request for Proposals Seeking Firms to Update Master Plan

Download press release as PDF: Navy Yard Master Plan RFP – 01.04.2021 – final

Update 1/12/21: Register for the Pre-Bid Meeting on Friday, January 15 at 9-11AM on Zoom.

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation, in partnership with Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners (“Ensemble/Mosaic”), has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) opportunity for large-scale comprehensive master planning at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. PIDC and Ensemble/Mosaic seek proposals from qualified, experienced, diverse, and inclusive planning, design, and engineering firms to develop and deliver a comprehensive master plan. The 2021 Navy Yard Master Plan Update will establish a dynamic, cohesive, and achievable placemaking vision and development framework as the Navy Yard embarks on its next phase of expansion and growth.

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PIDC Announces Philadelphia Navy Yard Development Partner Shortlist

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation, received over 35 responses to the request for qualifications (RFQ) issued last fall for development of 109 acres at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. This opportunity comprises the next stage of development at the Navy Yard, focused on bringing expanded life sciences R&D and production, corporate headquarters, office and commercial, retail and restaurant amenities, and for the first time, mixed-use residential buildings, to the Navy Yard’s Historic Core and Mustin Districts. From the diverse mix of experienced local and national developers who responded, PIDC has created a shortlist of highly attractive prospective partners who have been invited to submit detailed proposals in a request for proposal (RFP) stage, with final selection of a partner to be made later this year.  Read more

Iovance Biotherapeutics Announces New Facility at the Navy Yard to Support U.S. Production of Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte Cell Therapy Products

Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc., a late-stage biotechnology company developing novel cancer immunotherapies based on tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) technology, today announced that it has entered into a lease agreement to build an approximately 136,000 square foot commercial-scale production facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard for commercial and clinical production of autologous TIL products, including its candidate lifileucel. Read more

Liberty Property Trust Brings Worldwide Express to 1200 Intrepid Avenue in the Navy Yard

Philadelphia, PA – September 6, 2018 – Liberty Property Trust has leased 4,612 square feet at 1200 Intrepid Avenue to Worldwide Express, one of the top logistics companies in North America.

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Philly Shipyard Christens First Aloha Class Vessel ‘Daniel K. Inouye’

Matson, Inc., a leading U.S. carrier in the Pacific, and Philly Shipyard, Inc., the wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Philly Shipyard ASA, christened the largest containership ever built in the United States. Read more

Indego Bike Share Announces Expansion to South Philadelphia

Indego bike share program announced today that it will grow this summer, adding at least eight more stations to the system. Early summer expansion will include station and bike availability at the Navy Yard with connections at AT&T Station and FDR Park. Additional stations will be installed throughout the summer to provide more dock and bike availability in high ridership areas.  Read more

Ameresco and PIDC Celebrate Completion of 6 MW Natural Gas-fired Peaking Plant Project at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia

Ameresco, Inc., a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, and PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Navy Yard, today announced the final completion of the six megawatt (6 MW) natural gas-fired peaking plant at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, and that the plant is now operational.

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Navy Yard

The Navy Yard is considered the most successful redevelopment of a former military facility in the country and today is a growing community where companies and their employees thrive. Future growth will support up to 10 million square feet of commercial and residential development.

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