For anyone who has had a late night/early morning in the Rittenhouse neighborhood and had a hankering for a quick snack when other options were closed, you may be familiar with 2301-11 Walnut St., which is home to a 24-hour Rite Aid. This set-up always struck us as odd, with a large surface parking lot taking up the front of the lot and a parking garage underneath and behind the Rite Aid, extending to Sansom Street.
"The other day, we heard rumors on a Reddit thread that the Rite Aid here would soon be closing, with July 28th as the last date the store would be open. When we went to check it out for ourselves, we confirmed that things were indeed closing soon for this neighborhood stalwart. While we understand that this serves a community function, a bunker-like building with surface parking is far from the highest and best use in such a prominent location. And as you can see below, we aren’t exactly losing a design marvel in the process.
While there don’t appear to be any signs of a transaction or any new zoning notices, according to the folks who work at said pharmacy, a new residential tower may soon rise on site. This is hearsay at this point, but it makes all the sense in the world to us. The combination of a key location and an under-utilized lot give us hope that something substantial could go up on this 20K sqft property with CMX-4 zoning. This permissive zoning is surely enticing to developers and the huge amount of residential mass in the area makes apartments or condos a likely success. We should note that an office use or perhaps a life sciences building might also make sense here."