The property at 740 S. Broad St. has sat empty for the last couple decades, and as you might expect for such a prominently located parcel, there have been a few different proposals that have come and gone during those years. As we’ve previously covered, a third phase of Artisan Homes was planned here, with a proposal for eight large town homes. Never happened. At the end of 2014, another developer had a new plan for eight townhomes, but that also didn’t move forward. In 2015, for about a week, the owners listed the property and an adjacent lot on Fitzwater Street for a staggering $20M, and the listing included a rendering of a 20-story building with 120 apartments and an adjacent 4-story parking garage. Like its predecessors, this also didn’t come to pass.

In the past

Finally, new developers stepped in a couple years ago and something has happened here at last. What has happened is a ten-unit town town home project called Lydian Place, with five homes on Broad Street, five homes on Rosewood Street, and a drive-aisle between them. The Broad Street homes are just about finished and possess striking white brick facades. The Rosewood homes will look similar, but those are only up to foundations at this point.

View of the new homes
Next phase coming soon

The homes are quite large, with living space across six floors, including the basement. In all, the homes have roughly 4,100 sqft of living space, with 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 2 half baths, parking, and elevators. We walked through the model home and came away impressed with both the design and finish choices. A couple of notable elements are the open ceiling in the living area in the basement which floods the level with natural light, as well as the jumbo “pilot house” which leads to front and rear deck areas, while enclosing the middle of the home to create an inside-outside space for entertaining.

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Basement view
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Living room
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Jumbo pilot house
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One of the decks

This project, with list prices starting at $1.95M, will dovetail nicely with the four home development that’s under construction just a few steps to the north. As we’ve said before, mansions have a storied history on Broad Street, and these two projects will continue that tradition while replacing long vacant lots. While apartment buildings with greater density would certainly be a desirable alternative at this location, making them work financially is incredibly challenging with the combination of a small lot size and 3/10 parking requirements. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but parking minimums in the Zoning Code tend to limit density opportunities, and we’d guess that’s a feature and not a bug.

Project just to the north
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Broad and South, future Goldenberg project

On the other side of that spectrum is the huge lot that’s been assembled by the Goldenberg Group over the last few years at Broad & South. For those craving additional density on Broad Street, their upcoming project will add a sizable mixed-use development which will reuse the historic Health Center and will also include a relocated South Street Whole Foods, from what we hear. Figure the folks moving to Lydian Place won’t need to resort to Instacart with the supermarket a mere two blocks away.

Disclosure: OCF Realty owns Naked Philly and is also the broker for this project.