The First of Its Kind: Carvana Comes to Philadelphia

18 October, 2018

The first of its kind in the Philadelphia market, Carvana’s newest location recently opened. Bohler provided civil engineering and permitting services for the 8,400 SF, 9-story Car Vending Machine in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. Visible from Route I-95 and the Market-Frankford rail line, the auto retailer’s tower has already made headlines.

Bohler’s team overcame several design and permitting challenges to bring this project to life. As the pioneer for a development like this in Philadelphia, permitting for the project required more coordination and in-person involvement than most projects in the City. Our team successfully worked to obtain approvals from the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), Streets Department and Zoning.

Figuring out how to get cars to the site was a feat in itself, due to its prime urban location. Bohler worked closely with Carvana’s team to navigate tight urban streets and avoid an elevated rail line, determining the best route for the car carrier trucks to make deliveries. Another hurdle for the team was signage. Carvana locations typically tower above their surroundings and are distinctly illuminated with logos on all four sides of the building. For the Philadelphia location, this signage required a variance from the zoning code and an understanding with the community. Bohler helped facilitate collaboration between all parties, which resulted in slightly reduced signage and ultimately a successful story.

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