The northeast corner of the rather underdeveloped, and under-appreciated, intersection of Broad and South Streets is being redeveloped with a modern and upscale apartment building, called Southstar Lofts. The developer is Dranoff Properties, who developed the nearby Symphony House Condominiums and Suzanne Roberts Theatre (a block north) and 777 South Broad Street apartments (a couple of blocks south) and the architect is JKR Partners. The new building helps build up the intersection of two of the most important streets in the city with residential space and important retail spaces. The site had been a messy, and seemingly neglected, community garden for a long time. The developer has recently begun construction and is supposed to be ready for occupancy next year.
The new building will be in two sections, with a seven storey section on Broad Street and at the corner, and a five storey section along South Street. The lower portion will rise to four storeys along South Street and have penthouses with small terraces in front, above the street. It will have 85 rental loft apartments, with studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units, ranging from 541 square feet to 1,046 square feet. The ground floor will have retail all along Broad and South Streets, a welcome addition to this important intersection and the neighborhood. Most of the proposed retail that Dranoff is planning to have would be restaurants and cafes, but no tenants have yet been announced. The entrance would be on Broad Street and Dranoff is planning to add a unique piece of glass artwork, called “Light Play“, by artistic firm Mags Harries & Lajos Heder, that would be draped over the Broad Street subway entrance, and the sidewalk imbetween the subway entrance and building, on the corner and along the height of the facade above (the city Art Commission just approved the work today). The exterior of the building would have metal paneling similar to 777 South Broad Street, and have large floor-to-ceiling windows measuring 9′ 6″, that would provide extensive views of the Avenue of the Arts and South Street. Inside, there would be upscale finishes and a fitness center and clubroom, as well as, bike storage. There would be no parking, but Dranoff is partnering with PhillyCarShare to provide vehicles for occasional use. The loading docks, for the retail businesses, would be in the back and accessed from Rodman Street, just to the north.
This development couldn’t be in a better spot. Since Broad and South Streets are two of the busiest and most notable streets in the city, their intersection should also be lively and exciting, and this development adds enough retail to create that necessary, and long overdue, urban buzz there. This could likely create enough interest and activity in the neighborhood to fill in other retail spaces, particularly across the street at the upscale 1352 Lofts on South Street. South Street has seen a few small redevelopments on the once depressed stretch near Broad Street over the years, but there are still a few empty lots and parking lots that should be developed. Broad Street also has underutilized sites that can be redeveloped, so the Southstar Lofts, a block south of Symphony House and a couple blocks north of 777 South Broad Street, can create a critical mass to finally have the development boom that Broad Street, from Pine Street to Washington Avenue, has been waiting for. Some other improvements in the neighborhood are the rebuilding of the once abandoned Martin Luther King Homes, in the Hawthorne neighborhood east of Broad, new townhouses and condos around 13th & Bainbridge Streets, many new townhouses and small apartment and condo buildings in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood west of Broad Street, and the beautiful new Hawthorne Park, at 12th & Catharine Streets.
If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in this continually developing and exciting area of the city, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or view my Long & Foster agent portal, here, my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE. You can, also, check out our Long & Foster Philly Center City Office, here. And, you can find out more about Southstar Lofts at their website, here, and check out the renderings and my pictures of the site and neighborhood, below.