The very upscale SLS International Hotel and Residences has received the final approval needed from city agencies to build what will be the tallest building on Broad Street, and which will house a very upscale luxury hotel and condominiums. This new tower, being built by Dranoff Properties for SLS International and designed by KPF Architects and Cope Linder, will replace an empty lot and a vacant building next door to the lot, as well as the landmark, but fire damaged, former headquarters and recording studio of Philadelphia International Records, the music recording company that created the “Sound of Philadelphia” in the 1970s. Philadelphia International Records owners, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, owned the small former headquarters and recording studio building, on the corner of Broad & Spruce Streets, and they are investors in the new tower. They decided to agree to the demolition of their former headquarters because the building was badly damaged by a fire a couple of years ago.
The SLS International Hotel and Residences will stand 47 storeys and 590 feet tall, much taller than any of its neighbors and the City Hall tower up the street. It will have multiple uses on different levels. The podium will have the lobbies for the hotel and condominium and a large restaurant wrapping around the corner of Broad and Spruce Streets, which will have live entertainment like at other SLS hotels. There will be a level of parking below ground and two floors of parking above the first floor. The developers and architects insist that they could not build all the parking underground because of the Broad Street subway and utility and communications lines in the subway tunnels. Above the parking will be a large hotel ballroom overlooking Broad Street and the Kimmel Center, as well as, smaller conference rooms. On the fifth floor of the podium will be a fitness center, an Olympic-sized pool, a spa, and an outdoor terrace, all accessible to hotel guests and condominium residents. The hotel will be above the podium and will have 151 guest rooms in a very upscale four or five-star hotel. Above the hotel, will be 26 floors of 126 condominiums, with one of the highest penthouses in the city. The tower will be thin and have vertical fins and several sections sticking out like tall bays along the vertical facade. There will be green rooves on these sections and on top of the ballroom over Broad and Spruce. The sidewalk will have decorative pavers and two existing trees will be saved on Spruce Street. The developers received approval from city agencies to vacate and develop a half block of Cypress Street, which had largely been used as a service alley. The developers would like to begin demolition of the existing buildings this summer and begin construction of the whole project this autumn.
This is one of many residential projects for the area; an area that was not very upscale more than a decade ago, before the construction of the Kimmel Center. Catercorner to SLS is the Atlantic Building, a former office building which is about to be renovated into apartments or condos. A couple blocks down Broad Street is the new Southstar Lofts, also being developed by Dranoff Properties, which also built the Symphony House Condominiums and 777 South Broad apartments, both on Broad Street as well. At the intersection of Broad Street and Washington Avenue, developer Bart Blatstein wants to build a large commercial development, which could have residential, and a couple blocks to the west are a new apartment building at 1601 Washington Avenue and the Carpenter Square condo and townhouse development on 17th Street. The neighborhood has, also, been enhanced by the creation of Hawthorne Park, at 12th & Fitzwater Streets. North of SLS, several developments are planned for Chestnut Street. Right at Broad and Chestnut, the Avenue of the Arts Building is supposed to be renovated into luxury apartments, the parking lot at 15th & Chestnut Streets will soon have the W and Element Hotel tower, and across 15th Street from that, the Chestnut Place office building will soon be renovated into upscale apartments, as well. As if all that isn’t enough, 1616 Walnut Street has been renovated into luxury apartments and a new apartment building was recently completed on the 1600 block of Sansom Street. All of these developments are upscale developments, and the SLS International Hotel and Residences will be among the largest and most upscale of them. It is, also, the start of more major condo development in Center City. Condos have strong demand now in the city, but a limited available supply.
If you’re interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Center City, or any other area of the city, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, or check out our Long & Foster Center City office, here. You can, also, view my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE. You can see more of the SLS International Hotel and Residences on the Dranoff website, here, and check out these renderings and my pictures of the site and the Avenue of the Arts neighborhood, below.