By Paul Schwedelson – Reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal

Feb 14, 2024

Federal Realty Investment Trust plans to break ground this spring on a six-story, 217-unit apartment building at the Bala Cynwyd on City Avenue shopping center following the success of the first 87 apartments built at the retail property.

The first phase of the residential project, named the Delwyn, was completed in 2020 and is 97% leased. In January 2021, Federal Realty tenant Lord & Taylor closed its department store at 121 E. City Ave. and vacated the two-story, 120,000-square-foot property, giving the Maryland-based real estate firm an opening to demolish that building and add more apartments at the retail center.

“We’re obviously happy with the way [the Delwyn] has delivered quality residential units to the Bala Cynwyd market, and we feel there’s an opportunity given the lack of lease-ability for a 1960s-era department store,” said Mark Brennan, vice president of regional development at Federal Realty Investment Trust.

Brennan declined to share the estimated cost of the 217-unit project, but said Federal Realty’s investment in recent years, including the first phase of residential, totals nearly $170 million. The 69-year-old retail destination, previously known as the Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center, underwent an $8 million rebrand last year.

The upcoming project is planned to be completed by summer 2026 and would have 16,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a two-level parking garage. The retail space would likely have multiple tenants, possibly restaurants or service retail like banks, dry cleaners or small fitness boutiques, Brennan said.