Will a New Boutique Hotel Energize East Chestnut Street?

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, two Center City buildings will be repurposed into a 150 room Hotel Indigo. The Bailey building at 1218 Chestnut St. and the Biddle building at 1217 Sansom St. combine for about 140K interior sqft that will soon be used for a higher purpose than middling downtown office space. No idea what this will mean for the Wine and Spirits Super Store in the Bailey Building.

Biddle Building
From a distance
Bailey Building
From a distance

Hopefully, this new development will spur additional growth in this area, which has clearly transformed in the past decade but has seen Chestnut Street continue to lag in terms of development. Clearly, the efforts of Goldman Properties have made the 13th Street corridor into a major food and drink destination, with progress on Sansom Street Street and 12th Street as well. On the other hand, Chestnut Street has numerous vacant commercial spaces and lacks buzz, with the exception of a few recent commercial enterprises. One of the most exciting projects we’ve seen for this stretch, a billiard hall in a former bank building, now appears to be dead in the water.

Looking east on Chestnut Street, bank building in the distance

Another proposed but apparently abandoned project, the Fergie Tower, would have been on the lot across the street from the Sansom Street side of the future hotel. Makes us wonder whether the hotel might rekindle activity on this project or inspire a different redevelopment at this site.

Fergie's and a possible development site next door

In the years to come, we’ll see whether this new hotel proves to be a tipping point for Chestnut East or whether it’s just another small step forward for this area. Time will tell.