With construction of the Hub 3939 retail, housing planned at 40th, Chestnut beginning this month, residents of the sibling building, Hub I, are left wondering how the construction will affect them.
For some floors, the new building will impair their coveted view of Center City. Currently, of the building’s nine floors, floors four and up have the Center City view. With the construction, floors four through seven will instead have north and south views, but not necessarily straight views into Center City like before. However, developers JNA Capital, Inc. said that residents of the affected floors will not be looking into the privacy of the units across them in the Hub 3939.
“[I] have heard people talking about [Hub 3939] in the elevators … they paid a premium to get a view and with it blocked it’s kind of like a sunk cost,” a Penn senior and sixth floor Hub 1 resident, who wished to remain anonymous so as not to anger his landlord, said.
Floors eight and nine will keep their original view.
“I was initially worried about how my view of Center City would be impacted because it’s one of the big draws of the Hub. I would be upset if I was living on a lower floor,” a Wharton sophomore living on the ninth floor, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “Obviously it’s going to be an inconvenience since I’ll be hearing construction outside.”
The developers have not yet decided whether rents will be lower for residents living in the units with the obscured view.
“We’ll have to see how the market plays out and how the view is affected,” Ahsan Nasratullah, president of building developers JNA Capital, Inc. said. However, he said that the Hub I tenants will still benefit from the Hub 3939 construction. The Hub 3939 will be have an “attractive entryway,” and a restaurant or cafe in the Hub 3939 building will have outdoor seating similar to the style of Capo Giro at 39th and Walnut streets.
“[It] will bring much more life on that end of 40th street,” Nasratullah said. “It’s a definite positive for everybody.”
Nasratullah isn’t alone in this feeling.
“If there was an additional Hub building it would definitely be a good thing,” the Penn senior said. “I can definitely see why they would think building on it would probably outweigh the current residents being upset.”
Hub I tenants’ primary concern at the time, Naratullah added, is how the entryway for Hub I will be protected. The developers will add a covered walkway into Hub I, which will be well lit and covered with banners. Citing a 30 percent rollover rate on leases this year, the Hub I remains a popular location despite the construction, he said.
“I think it will be an overall improvement as a community,” Nasratullah said.