It was only earlier this month that we made our way to the busy corner of Broad & Girard to visit a pair of projects that were under construction immediately next to one another. And while it is indeed exciting to see that things are moving along here, there’s something else happening close by that brings us back to the area. Let’s check out how things look today for these projects which will bring a Lidl, some ground floor retail space, and nearly 250 units across the two apartment buildings.
If you look closely at the left edge of the photo above, you can see a little flash of turquoise. Upon a casual glance, things don’t appear to be any different for the properties at 906-16 N. Broad St., historically a trio of low-rise commercial spaces that weren’t bringing much to the party architecturally. But as you get closer to the building and peer over the fence, the signage makes much more sense: demolition is underway.
This is quite a surprise to us, as we actually pined for progress here during our last visit. And now it seems as if multi-family plans from all the way back in 2018 are making a return. Back then, a 94-unit project with three ground floor commercial spaces and zero parking was pitched, retaining some of the existing building in some manner, technically making this an addition. Since then, zoning permits were approved, though there has been nary a whisper since. YCH Architects is bringing us the traditional design here, which we think fits in great with the booming block. The red brick looks handsome, the scale is appropriate, and there is no car parking whatsoever for this transit-oriented development. To the renderings!
We don’t see any recent demo permits pulled, but perhaps that’s simply an administrative issue. Either way, we are thrilled to see these low-rise commercial spaces replaced with something more dense, joining the other CMX-4 zoned lots to the north in the development fun. And it’s possible that the block could see more if 915-23 N. Broad St. gets moving across the street. There are plans here for yet another apartment project, this time with SKY Design Studio bringing us retail, office, and 70 units to this seven-story project.
This project also received provisional zoning approval a few years back, and then was removed as a contributing building from the historic register after a demolition permit was issued by L&I to remove the (quite frankly very average) buildings on site. So, North Broad Street continues to surprise, delight, and grow right before our eyes. We talked years ago about how Center City might one day connect with the southern reaches of Temple University. With these and several other projects moving along close by, we are not very far from that day, if we’re not already there to some degree.