Just over a year ago, we were at Broad & Callowhill, looking both ways and checking out a project known as Hanover North Broad, which is a partnership between Philadelphia’s Parkway Corporation and The Hanover Company which is based in Houston. At that time, the dueling surface parking lots on the southeast and southwest corners were not much more than that, with site preparation having being completed. Since then, construction has progressed at a seemingly rapid pace. Today, the smaller building on the east side of Broad Street (339 N. Broad St.) is basically complete, with the sidewalk free and open to pedestrians. And the opposing larger western building (322 N. Broad St.) is completely built out but still needs parts of its facade and its interiors to be completed. It's pretty amazing how quickly these buildings went up.
You've probably driven, biked, or walked past the large property at 212 N. 8th St. countless times over the years, and like us, perhaps you never paid it much mind. Granted, we're generally predisposed against surface parking lots, but given the location of this property on the edges of Chinatown and Old City, adjacent to the I-676 and a couple blocks from the Ben Franklin Bridge, this one never really bugged us too much. The City, which owns the property, is apparently of the mind that this lot could be put to better use and over the summer issued an RFP to redevelop it. According to a story from Philly.com, two developers responded to the RFP and will present their proposals to the community tonight.
One of our first predictions for 2017 was that North Broad Street would take a major step forward this year, and it didn't even take two weeks for news to emerge that supports this expectation. Hey, when you're good, you're good.
The hits keep on coming for North Broad Street. Once seen as the red headed stepchild of the Avenue of the Arts, North Broad Street has seen an amazing resurgence in the last few years and its future is incredibly bright. At Broad & Fairmount, the renovation of the Divine Lorraine is progressing, restoring one of the most striking buildings on the corridor and bringing 121 new units to the area. Restaurants like Osteria and Alla Spina are making North Broad Street a destination for people that don't live nearby. And very soon, even more people will call North Broad Street home.
Yesterday, Philly.com reported that the Parkway Corporation has purchased the large surface parking lot on the northwest corner of Broad & Spring Garden. The plans are a little nebulous at this time, but should be of the mixed-use variety and include residential, office space, and retail. And since it's Parkway, we have to assume that parking will also be involved, even though the property sits on a BSL stop.
Maybe you love surface parking lots, but if you're a regular reader of this blog you know we aren't into 'em. So we rejoiced a couple years back, when Parkway Corporation, one of the biggest parking lot owners in Philadelphia, partnered with the Hanover Company with plans to redevelop two surface parking lots on opposing corners at Broad & Callowhill. At the time, we predicted that we'd be offering more information in the near future, and we somehow haven't checked in on the property in the time that's passed since then. But better late than never, eh? Currently, both the southeast and southwest corner are in the early stages of construction.