Broad and Washington Corners Trying To Become More Than A Cirque Du Soleil Parking Lot

Philadelphia City Planning Commission's design concept

Gary P. Steuer, Philadelphia’s chief cultural officer and director of the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy would like to see the parcels at the northeast (owned by New York-based Hudson River Capital) and northwest (marketed by Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation) corners of Broad and Washington developed. “Given the Avenue of the Arts location, it would be great to have a cultural component in that area,” Steuer told us. There has been some talk about culturally related development and the PIDC recently opened the northwest corner of Broad and Washington, an Avenue Of The Arts anchor-point corner, to Request For Qualifications (RFQ) in order to find out the potential to develop this site in the current market. So what is the potential?

In terms of cultural sites, there is development that extends down as far as the Clef Club and Brandywine Workshop. “It would be great to see something on either or both of those sites that includes a cultural component,” explains Steuer. “That could help define this Washington/Broad location as a launching spot as you go north on Avenue of the Arts.” Brian Flanagan, chief of staff to deputy mayor for economic development (no small title), was excited to let us know that they received responses for the 2.3-acre northwest site at 1020 South Broad Street. The PIDC is not receiving formal proposals or offers at this point, but looking to see what the market can bear. “We received a few expressions of interest and will coordinate with various city entities to decide to move forward with this process or not at this time,” explains Liz Gabor, real estate manager at PIDC.

Currently the northeast corner, according to Flanagan, is in receivership and Hudson River Capital has not submitted anything about what they would like to do with the 4.5-acre property at 1001-29 S. Broad Street. “The city would like to see all of [the lots] in development,” says Steuer. “Its just been a challenge in the depressed economy to get the development rolling.” It seems the Philly market is turning around and we hope to see development follow suit, especially for these key massive lots. We hope the market can support a project as dense as these lots can support, allowing the PIDC to continue to the next stage and solicit offers for these lots. Click here to view the RFQ for the northwest corner.