FOR CRAIG A. SPENCER, THE SKY’S THE LIMIT AT THE RARIFIED PENTHOUSES INSIDE HIS RESIDENCES AT THE RITZ-CARLTON, PHILADELPHIA.
For Craig A. Spencer, the sky’s the limit at the rarefied penthouses inside his Residences at The Ritz-carlton, Philadelphia.
It’s too bad that William Penn has his gaze permanently fixed towards Northeast Philadelphia from his perch atop City Hall. It’s with good reason—penn looks out over Fishtown’s Penn Treaty Park, where he signed a peace treaty with the local Leni Lenape Indians—but if he were able to make a quick turn to the right he would be staring at the trio of penthouses at The Residences at The Ritz-carlton, Philadelphia.
“There’s multiple outdoor decks, very high ceilings, and dramatic views to the north, east, west, and even some to the south,” says Craig A. Spencer, chairman and CEO of The Arden Group. Factor in the entirely open shell—the 46th and 47th floors are all raw space—and you’re looking at one of the most unique residential real estate opportunities in the city. On a tour of the 47th floor, you walk in seeing a concrete shell and leave imagining outdoor cocktail parties within what feels like arm’s reach of City Hall or waking up to a baby-blue Center City skyline. Gary W. Greenip, vice president of sales and marketing at The Residences, likens the penthouses to world-class works of art. “The residences from the 45th floor down we consider our Picassos, which are movein ready with their exceptional fits and finishes. However, our three penthouses we consider to be a blank canvas where the future owner will create their own Picasso.” Adds Spencer, “Ten thousand square feet of raw space in a luxury tower just doesn’t exist in Philly.”
But Spencer has been making the impossible seem very possible since
The Residences opened in January 2009, in the thick of the global financial crisis. From the start, it was unlike any other residential property in Philadelphia with its 48 floors (the 48th-floor penthouse was sold in May 2016) and 270 finished condos featuring 14 floor plans outfitted with hardwood floors, marblecovered baths, gourmet kitchens, and 180-degree views. The 7,000-squarefoot fitness center rivaled major city gyms, a residents’ lounge and media room with a wraparound terrace overlooked what eventually became Dilworth Park, and the building had major design cred courtesy of Handel Architects, the same firm that designed the World Trade Center Memorial.
Its distinction as the only luxury branded building in the city, thanks to its affiliation with The Ritz-carlton, Philadelphia a few steps away, is what Spencer believes continues to set The Residences apart. That and a diverse mix of residents that ranges from millennial professionals to suburban empty nesters, who even have their second homes and pied-à-terres here. “You can have anything you want with a phone call,” says Spencer. “If you were going away on vacation for three weeks, you could call the concierge to ask to have your fridge stocked and laundry and newspapers delivered for when you returned.”
The sales speak for themselves: Over the last eight years, the building has surpassed nearly all of its initial projections, totaling almost $280 million in sales to date and is estimated to exceed more than $300 million by the end of 2017.
“We built The Residences when there hadn’t been a new luxury building in 20 years,” says Spencer of the property’s continued success. “It was the right time, right place, right brand, right location... the stars just aligned.” Those same stars are even easier to see from 47 floors up. 1414 S. Penn Sq., 215851-8000; philadelphia residences.com
The Residences at The Ritz- Carlton, Philadelphia shows guests just a few of the endless design possibilities for its two penthouses with this 3,000- squarefoot smart- home residence. inset: Craig A. Spencer.
The Residences has had a front- row seat to some of the city’s biggest urban projects, including City Hall’s restoration, the $55 million Dilworth Park, and a $14 million face- lift for Love Park.
A three- bedroom corner residence has a balcony and window- side breakfast nook for morning coffee with a view.
The second-floor sundeck is a year- round gathering spot, offering some of the city’s best views for special events at Dilworth Park and the annual Mummers Parade.