PHOTOS show new luxury condos planned for Center City

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- A new ultra-luxury apartment building is going up in Center City Philadelphia and with the historic view will come a steep price tag.

500 Walnut is a worksite now, but in two years it is expected to be a 26 story tower with a commanding view of the Cradle of Liberty.

Founding Father lookalikes mingled at the symbolic groundbreaking Thursday at the nearby American Jewish History Museum.

RELATED: Photos of new ultra-luxury condos

The building will see floor to ceiling glass, fireplaces, billiard room, lap pool, and a robotic parking system so no one dents their ride in the underground garage.

The price tag is $3 million to $17 million.

This prompted Mayor Michael Nutter to joke that he told developer Tom Scannapieco his goal was to live in one of his buildings.

"He said, 'I can help you with that.' I said, 'Tom, the discount would have to be so deep that both of us would get locked up by the FBI,'" Nutter said.

So who will live here and take in the view from its tree top terrace? Locals.

"Philadelphia does not attract an international buyer. We're not New York, we're not Miami so our buyers are moving in primarily from the suburbs around Philadelphia. 2/3 of our buyers are coming in from the suburbs," Scannapieco said.

Even ultra-luxury buyers get a 10 year property tax abatement, but Scannapieco claims that will be offset by other taxes the new owners may face.

"There are transfer taxes, there are sales taxes, there are income taxes, there's a franchise tax," Scannapieco said.

Scannapieco says there is significant interest in the 38 units.

The $17 million penthouse which has two floors and 9,000 square feet is still available.
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