A reader reached out to us the other day, wondering about some recently started demolition on the 2200 block of Spring Garden Street. This felt like familiar territory, and lo and behold, we had indeed covered the property in question, 2225-27 Spring Garden St., once before. A little more than two years ago, we told you that developers had purchased this building and were looking to build a boutique hotel on the site. This seemed like a no brainer to us, given that this address is maybe two blocks from the Art Museum and also close to the Barnes and the Rodin. Making the location even more attractive is the fact that the closest hotels are on the other side of Vine Street, so there’s a real gap in the market.
Perhaps you noticed, we last covered this project over two years ago but there’s no hotel there as of yet. In fact, it’s just moving forward now, with demolition finally getting started. It makes us wonder, what took so long?
Part of the delay is surely attributable to normal delays that go along with real estate development. But we imagine that some bureaucratic hoops also slowed the timeline for the project. The first hoop was the fact that the project needed to be approved by the ZBA since the property is zoned for multi-family use, not visitor accommodations. The other issue was that the project needed approval from the Historical Commission. Lest you think that the junky two-story building from 1958 was somehow designated as historic, that’s not the case- it’s located in the Spring Garden Historic District and therefore received the extra scrutiny. As far as we can tell, both the ZBA and the Historical Commission gave their approvals by the end of 2017, and now things are finally moving forward.
Per a story from the Inquirer, the project is being developed by an affiliate of MMB Contractors, and will entail a 26-room hotel. The above rendering is a little dated, but since it had to go through Historic, we imagine the final plan will strongly resemble it. Certainly, this will make for an attractive addition to this block both in terms of appearance and utility. And while the museums will appreciate the proximity of tourists, we imagine the local businesses will also benefit from a few more random out-of-towners wandering around the neighborhood looking for stuff to do and things to eat.