North Broad Street has been referred to as Automobile Row in the past, given the density of auto showrooms and warehouses that once lined the blocks between Spring Garden Street and Girard Avenue. Many of those glorious buildings are no more, but cars sure feel like they’re still the guests of honor in the area around 813 N. Broad St., at the corner of Broad & Parrish. With a gas station immediately to the south and a Pep Boys immediately to the north, this former gas station (yes, two gas stations stood here side by side) is in for a big-time shift to something that’s a little more human-forward.

A view of the gas station at the southeast corner of N. Broad & Parrish in 2020

What’s to rise is a 63-unit, four-story apartment building from Landmark Architectural Design on this CMX-4 site. The ground floor will primarily feature parking, with 13 car spaces and 30+ bike spaces, with no retail or commercial space included. The corner of the building will include brick and a prominent green wall to anchor the building, with paneling and masonry making up the remainder of the exterior. Parking will be accessed via a curb cut along Parrish St., thankfully maintaining the pedestrian right of way along Broad. Let’s peer into our crystal ball and see what will rise from this muddy expanse.

A view of the project to come from the same view
The current view of the property, cleared and digging downwards
Current view looking southeast
Looking east across N. Broad at the current action
A mix of materials will make up the facade, with the green wall featured prominently
Current view looking south across Parrish
The north facade features parking access and a continuation of the materials

Across the street, 836 N. Broad St. is rising high on a former surface lot. This six-story project from Anthony Maso Arch. & Design will add an another 32 more units to the corridor, this time with a ground floor commercial space. This project includes parking for 10 cars and 11 bicycles, with access again along Parrish. We don’t have any renderings of the details, but the L-shaped structure is moving along nicely, with facade/window work seemingly coming soon.

Could the gas station to the south be next?
The view from Broad of the topped-out structure

We love that nearly 100 more units will be joining the rapidly changing area between Center City and Temple University. Being two blocks from both the Girard and Fairmount Broad Street Line stops certainly doesn’t hurt either, as most folks living here will likely be reliant on nearby transit. Let’s hope we keep seeing projects in this area trading out cars for more residents as the North Broad momentum is the kind we’d love to see continue.