After stopping by a still-snowy 20-unit project that is making its mark along North Broad, we couldn’t help but peer south past the Stable Lofts (we still miss Clementine’s along the ground floor) where another project is slowly making its way forward. Formerly a one-story building and parking lot for an early learning center, the property at 619 N. Broad St. sits just north of tiny Mount Vernon St. and continues its progress to something much bigger.

Looking south along Broad St., past the Stable Lofts
A closer look at the property back when it was overgrown and vacant
An aerial look highlights the property

What’s coming is certainly big and bold for the area: a 119-unit apartment building, featuring six stories and a golden arcade of arches lining the lower level of the lighter upper levels. The project comes to us from TierView Development, with Bright Common handling the architectural duties here. Underground parking for 34 cars and 40 bicycles is included, with parking access along the less busy Watts St. on the back of the building. Two smaller commercial spots will front Broad St., keeping the sidewalk clear of cars and more friendly to pedestrians. As you can see, this will make the corner look just a bit different in the future.

A view of the fenced-off property today
...and the same view in the future
A quick look at the site plans, with commercial fronting Broad St.

It’s difficult to see the progress from across the street, but as we get closer, we can see the progress thus far. The foundation has been poured and the elevator tower is now on the way up, though the site was empty when we went by. Whether this was due to weather or something else, we’re not sure, but the equipment on-site keeps us optimistic that this will keep moving forward.

A closer look from the south end of the property
Another look at the foundation, where the building will rise over underground parking

This will be quite a change to the area, and we hope that the materiality here is not skimped on; with the red brick of the Lofts and the gorgeous designs of Congregation Rodeph Shalom building just to the south, anything value-engineered will stick out like a sore thumb. Past plans show brick and stone being used along the entire facade, so we hope that this remains the case. But if this does reach its potential, this will look unlike most of what we see rise at this scale today.

Looking south at 545 N. Broad St.

OK, we were perhaps a touch tongue-in-cheek, as a project of nearly identical scale and color scheme at 545 N. Broad St. has recently finished up. Called Mily on Green, these 108 two- and three-bedroom apartments do have a similar feel on the exterior, but that’s more than fine by us. It is quite remarkable how this stretch has changed from so many auto-centric uses so close to City Hall to its mixed-use presence today. This seems like a much more appropriate use for prime land along Philly’s main street, and we look forward to someday seeing those arches shine on a sunny day.