Papa John's offered better ingredients and better pizza at 2100 Market St. for quite awhile, but closed their doors a couple years back. The building has sat vacant ever since, though an LLC related to Brandywine Realty Trust purchased the property as part of a larger assemblage last year. A reader gave us the heads up the other day that construction is now taking place here, with a fence surrounding the property and the retail space apparently gutted. Permits indicate a take-out restaurant is coming, and we wonder whether Papa John's will be making a return.
Though this is the most active construction site on the block, it's far less compelling than the major project planned a few doors down. Last year, word came out that Brandywine is planning a 39-story mixed-use building on the western side of the block, on parcels the company purchased along with 2100 Market St., all of which previously belonged to Richard Basciano. Looking at a thread from Skyscraper page, we see plans for office space on the lower levels and apartments on the upper levels of the new building. Perhaps the most interesting part of the plan would be the cantilevered space above the fire house which the City isn't inclined to relocate at this time. Also worth noting is the sketch of a midrise building at the corner of 21st & Market, which seems less likely right now with the ongoing renovation at the corner.
A few months ago, Philly.com reported that Brandywine would be demolishing the two-story parking garage at 2126-28 Market St. with a plan to create a large surface parking lot for valet use. This is right in the middle of the site for the 39-story building.
Let us hope that this surface parking lot is only a temporary use for this property, as Brandywine prepares for the larger project. Given their track record of late in terms of building significant projects in the area, like the Cira buildings, we are fairly confident that this will eventually happen. And until it does, we can at least be comforted that a large surface parking lot at this prominent location is at least slightly less embarassing for our city than the porno theater that stood here until a few years ago.