Perhaps you’ve wondered about why you’ve never seen anyone coming or going from the PHA building on the 2000 block of Chestnut Street. Well, pretty soon you’ll have to wonder no more. Because if we had to wager, we would bet that the building will be torn down in the next couple of years.
Last week, a press release made its way into our inbox with the news that PHA is looking for a partner to redevelop the building, which they used as office space until about a decade ago. The two lots next door, once used for parking, are also part of the deal. PHA is willing to have a developer renovate and reuse the existing building or tear it down and replace it with something new. Given the additional footprint afforded by the lots next door, we are expecting demolition. PHA is open to all sorts of projects on the site, including mixed-use, residential, or commercial.
Interestingly, PHA plans to maintain ownership of the land upon which this new development will sit, which may reduce interest some. The developer will ultimately own and operate the building they build, as you might suspect. How the building’s revenues would be divided between the developer and PHA are unclear, and we would imagine some sort of agreement would have to hammered out as part of the selection process.
As you’re probably well aware, 2116 Chestnut, which replaced the Sidney Hillman Medical Center, was just finished a few months ago about a block away. This could serve as an interesting example for the potential of the PHA site. Or would people rather see the existing building redeveloped and something smaller built on the lots next door? From where we sit, we vote for mixed-use, height, and density. Hey, Center City keeps on getting better with more and more people looking to live here. Let’s give the people what they want!