Construction equipment has been materializing over the past two weeks in the parking lot at 1441 Chestnut St. in Center City, where developer Brook Lenfest, son of cable TV billionaire-philanthropist-Inquirer owner H.F. Lenfest, is preparing a $280 million, 51-story project -- twin hotels, W (upstairs) and Element by Westin -- totalling over 700 rooms and backed by $75 million in public grants, tax benefits and low-cost loans. Owner is Lenfest's firm, Chestlen Development LP, of West Conshohocken; developer is Vine Street/Matthews Southwest LP; general contractor is Tutor Perini Building Corp.

Plenty of other cranes setting up in that neighborhod: See also Brickstone's "Mixed-Use Development," to be built by Clemens Construction, and for which Larry Steinberg at CBRE/Fameco is recruiting tenants, at 1112-28 Chestnut St.

And that's just south of the city-administered Girard Block, where demolition continues on the former N. Snellenburg's (corrected) department store in the 1100 block of Market St. for the National Real Estate Advisors/Joss Realty Partners/Young Caplital/SSH Real Estate-backed East Market retail-apartment-offices project, which will eventually consume the whole block.

And that's before the serious llifting starts in the redevelopment of PREIT/Macerich Co.'s Gallery.