NTCIC is happy to announce the successful closing of a $21 million federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) investment benefitting the revitalization of the historic Delaware Power Station of the Philadelphia Electric Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Once complete, it will become The Battery, a 500,000 square foot dynamic multifamily and workplace campus experience on the Delaware River, adjacent to the heart of the bustling Fishtown neighborhood in Philadelphia, with a specific focus towards open-air, greenspace, and health and wellness.
A Reenergized Power Station
The campus will be developed in three phases, the first of which will focus on two of the original historic structures, the “Boiler House” and the “Switchgear Building,” and an expansive public outdoor space. The project entails a mix of residential units and 70,000 square feet of office and event space. The Boiler House will feature a dramatic 2-story central amenity hub, providing lounge, meeting, and café space with a rooftop outdoor terrace and garden. The outdoor revitalization will create a promenade directly adjacent to Penn Treaty Park that complements the Battery’s location along the Delaware River waterfront with direct access to exercise trails.
An Illuminating History
Constructed between 1917 and 1923 to meet the ever-growing power needs of the rapidly growing Philadelphia Electric Company, the Delaware Station was capable of generating over 46% of the city’s electricity when running at its full capacity, making it Philadelphia’s largest power station in the post-World War I period and a critical component to the company’s incredible growth.
Over the next several decades, the company would continue to dominate the industry, constructing additional stations around the city and expanding the Delaware station once more in 1953 and continued to power a large portion of Philadelphia over the next several decades. However, the emergence of new power generating technologies such as nuclear power, the historic structures of the Delaware Station’s dependence on fossil fuels, both coal, and oil, meant that it was becoming increasingly inefficient. By 1969, the station’s original sections were retired, leaving only the 1953 expansion in operation.
The Exelon company acquired Philadelphia Electric in 2000 and, by 2008, the station ceased to function as a power plant. Exelon sold the station in 2015 when early development plans for the station’s future use began. Current ownership acquired the property in late 2019.
The Power of Historic Tax Credits
The restoration of the Philadelphia Electric Power Station was made possible, in part, through the federal Historic Tax Credit. In addition to being an effective job creator and preserving and rehabilitating historic buildings, the program also promotes the economic revitalization of older communities in the nation’s cities and towns, along Main Streets, and in rural areas.
Since the program’s inception in 1976, more than 45,000 historic properties throughout the United States have utilized the credit, leveraging over $173.7 billion in private investment in historic rehabilitation and generating over 2.8 million jobs.