The former Pearl Arts at 417 South St. has basically been in a state of flux since the arts and crafts supply store closed its doors back in 2011. Roughly three years ago, we heard about a plan to convert the building into 85 artist studios with prices starting at $250/month for 140 sqft. That plan would have also included a rooftop restaurant and and a reworked facade. But nothing ever came of that plan and the building remained vacant.
Shortly after, Millenneum Dance Complex took over the building, renovating the upper floors into dance studio space. But they were out in the summer of 2015. About a year ago, we checked in on the building and reported that it was under construction with a co-working business called Joynture signed on to take the upper floors. The retail space was listed for rent by MSC Retail. Checking in on the property today thanks to a reader tip, we discovered that the renovation of the building seems to be finished and that the first floor is occupied.
You can see, KicksUSA has taken over the space on the first floor and it looks like one of the finer shoe stores in the city. There's a big screen television near the front door which is clearly visible to passersby. You can also see the entrance to the co-working space is on the eastern side of the building. Those new windows on the upper floors will surely make that space more inviting than it was in the past. As was the case for the cancelled artist studios, the monthly membership for Joynture is $250, which includes a permanent desk or a floating seat, use of conference rooms, and unlimited access to the onsite cafe which has coffee and beer on tap at all times. Combine that with the location and we can see this place getting some solid traction with the co-workers of Philadelphia.
Honestly, we're just happy to see this large South Street building brought back to life after a mostly vacant half decade. We do wonder though, what they'll do with the large Pearl sign which still remains as a relic of the building's past.