The 1700 Market building is set back from 17th Street on its eastern side, creating a public open space that nobody has ever cared about as far as we can tell. It was almost exactly two years ago that the owners of the 32 story building acknowledged as much when they proposed a three story addition which would fill in that plaza and replace it with a glassy building containing three restaurants. At the time, according to, restaurants III Forks and Cantina Laredo had already signed on for the project, with one more space still to be filled. It was predicted that the project would be finished in time for the DNC.

But if you visit 17th & Market, today, you’ll note that nothing has happened nearly a year after the DNC came and went.

View From The North
View from the north
View From The South

Does this mean we should forget about the idea, and assume that this sweet looking thing, designed by DAS Architects, is never gonna happen?

Rendering From 2015, Image From
Rendering from 2015, image from

A listing on Loopnet from MSC Retail could suggest otherwise. This listing advertises up to 23K sqft available, with roughly 9K sqft on the first floor, 9K sqft on the 2nd floor, and 5K sqft on the roof deck. The listing was created last summer but updated as recently as February, indicating that the project is still very much under consideration. We have to think that the original restaurants have pulled out of the project, considering the amount of space available for lease and the fact that the restaurant names have been changed on the elevations drawing from the listing.

Elevations Drawing Of The Addition
Elevations drawing of the addition

We wonder whether this project will eventually take off, and have to think its future will be predicated on whether tenants decide that 17th & Market is a place they want to hawk their wares. As Inga Saffron has said, this stretch of Market Street has traditionally been one of the most dead in Center City, but this project could help Market Street West turn a corner and inspire others to consider this area as well. Let’s hope that this thing eventually gets built, it would certainly be a massive upgrade over the silly plaza that’s been here for the last fifty years.