After all of our recent visits to the area, there couldn’t possibly be more development in progress along lower North Broad Street, could there? Oh, there most certainly is, this time at 813 N. Broad St., at the corner of Broad & Parrish. We checked out this former gas station back in December, when digging had just begun for this 63-unit project that would sit on the SE corner of the intersection. When you look at the corner today from across Broad St., it doesn’t appear much different than before.
But if you take a closer look, there’s been some solid progress, with foundations now poured and steel rising on the eastern edge. The look from Landmark Architectural Design is quite modern, with parking for 13 cars and 30+ bicycles accessed from Parrish St., for this purely residential building. The design features brick along the four-story corner, with modern materials flanking this anchor. Most prominently, a green wall will look over Broad St., adding a pop of nature and softness to this mostly tree-free locale.
While we wish we would have seen a continuation of the brick, especially along Broad St., this is most certainly a huge upgrade over a gas station, especially as another gas station sits immediately to the south. We would have also liked to have seen some retail for this CMX-4 zoned property, as even a small commercial space would help keep the corner activated. But there is, thankfully, retail space going in for a 32-unit project across the street. This was still under construction during our last visit, but the building at 836 N. Broad St. is now nearing completion. While not an architectural stunner by any means, a little added density here is alright in our book.
Also close by is the handsome Baird Mansion at 814-16 N. Broad St., now the home to 11 loft-style apartments. This 1830s mansion used to be a single-family home and was one of many of the new estates built along North Broad Street around that time. This building is seemingly getting some facade work completed by the new owners, keeping the historically protected facade in good order.
With so many projects in the works on North Broad, there will undoubtedly be a different vibe along this pole-heavy area. And that’s fine with us, as before there was minimal foot traffic and far too much car traffic for our liking. Hopefully the shift from auto-centric businesses to pedestrian-friendly buildings will make this transit-accessible area a flourishing residential center before long.