We’ve visited 10th & Arch countless times over the years, mostly thanks to the now-closed Trocadero Theatre. We’re still slightly devastated that we can no longer stage dive at the Troc, the former opera house/theatre/burlesque club/iconic punk venue that operated just to the northwest of this corner for over a century. Let’s quickly hop in the way back machine to give ourselves a reminder of what this stretch used to look like and how it looks today.
Just across the street, the Greyhound bus terminal has been a staple long before the Bolts and Megabuses joined the intra-city fray. But as you can see from the photo above, this wasn’t always a surface lot for bus parking. Several low-rise buildings stood on this site in the past, but they sadly met their end many years ago. Why don’t we do our little time travel thing to give ourselves some context, shall we?
Thanks to one of our intrepid readers, we heard rumblings that action was taking place on this surface lot at 1018-24 Arch St., on the north side of the bus depot. Buses have recently been rerouted to Cuthbert Street to eliminate the need for the Arch Street entrance, which we noticed is now chained off. And since lurking in the back alleys of bus stations is one of our hobbies, we scoped out the Cuthbert side of the lot and noticed this too has been chained off.
While no permits have been issued to date, we do know that this property was purchased by “a local private investor” back in 2019 for $7.8M as part of a multi-parcel sale. That’s no small potatoes for a surface lot and leads us to believe we may see something substantial rise here. With its CMX-5 zoning, we’d venture a guess that an apartment tower will be the plan, or potentially a hotel given its distance to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This just happens to align with the approach for the buildings next door, when we told you last year there were plans for a hotel addition proposed.
Since we were in the area, we also checked on another potential major development in the works at 929 Race St., which is currently a parking garage. Per a ZBA meeting notice, an addition designed by Parallel Architecture Studio is proposed for the building which would include 148 age-restricted dwelling units. If this receives approval, we could have a whole bunch of construction shortly in this part of Chinatown.
And in case you thought we’d forgot, we of course stopped by one of our favorite (and confusing) construction sites just down the street. The planned hotel at 932 Arch St. looks nearly identical to our last visit, as construction has seemingly stalled on this project once again. Will these new proposals break ground and finish up before this one? Who knows. When it comes to this particular project, we’ve learned that handicapping its future is simply a fool’s errand.