SLS International Hotel and Residences gets final approval to build tallest building on Broad Street

rendering of sls int'l hotel and residences

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 gabriel.gottlieb@lnf.com 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.

Rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences

Rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences

Rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences at night

Rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences at night

Elevation rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences

Elevation rendering of the SLS International Hotel and Residences

Aerial view of the SLS International Hotel and Residences on the Center City skyline

Aerial view of the SLS International Hotel and Residences on the Center City skyline

View of the SLS International Hotel and Residences on the Center City skyline

View of the SLS International Hotel and Residences on the Center City skyline

Former headquarters and recording studio of Philadelphia International Records and a neighboring vacant building, at Broad and Spruce Streets

Former headquarters and recording studio of Philadelphia International Records and a neighboring vacant building, at Broad and Spruce Streets

Rendering of street level view shows restaurant and ballroom

Rendering of street level view shows restaurant and ballroom

Sign over the entrance and gift shop of Philadelphia International Records

Sign over the entrance and gift shop of Philadelphia International Records

View of the former Philadelphia International Records building and the neighboring building and vacant lot to be replaced by the SLS International Hotel and Residences

View of the former Philadelphia International Records building and the neighboring building and vacant lot to be replaced by the SLS International Hotel and Residences

Wilma Theater is across Spruce Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Wilma Theater is across Spruce Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Kimmel Center, across Broad Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Kimmel Center, across Broad Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

The Atlantic Building is catercorner to the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

The Atlantic Building is catercorner to the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

The lower floors of the Atlantic Building are supposed to have a large store or two

The lower floors of the Atlantic Building are supposed to have a large store or two

Sign announcing that South Broad Street is "Gamble & Huff Walk"

Sign announcing that South Broad Street is “Gamble & Huff Walk”

Looking north up Broad Street from Spruce Street

Looking north up Broad Street from Spruce Street

Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, which lines the Avenue of the Arts, includes many "Philadelphia Sound" artists

Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, which lines the Avenue of the Arts, includes many “Philadelphia Sound” artists

Entrance to the Broad Street subway across the street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Entrance to the Broad Street subway across the street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Spruce Street sign

Spruce Street sign

Looking west down Spruce Street into the Rittenhouse neighborhood

Looking west down Spruce Street into the Rittenhouse neighborhood

Landmark Drake Apartments, on the 1500 block of Spruce Street, used to be a luxury hotel

Landmark Drake Apartments, on the 1500 block of Spruce Street, used to be a luxury hotel

Looking east on Spruce Street into Washington Square West and the Gayborhood

Looking east on Spruce Street into Washington Square West and the Gayborhood

Center City One Condominiums will be next door on Spruce Street

Center City One Condominiums will be next door on Spruce Street

Merriam Theater on Broad Street, north of Spruce

Merriam Theater on Broad Street, north of Spruce

Historic Academy of Music at Locust Street, one block away from the SLS project

Historic Academy of Music at Locust Street, one block away from the SLS project

The Avenue of the Arts Building, at Broad and Chestnut Streets, is supposed to be renovated into luxury apartments soon

The Avenue of the Arts Building, at Broad and Chestnut Streets, is supposed to be renovated into luxury apartments soon

Site of future W and Element Hotel tower, at 15th & Chestnut Streets, and Chestnut Place office building, to the west, soon to be renovated into more luxury apartments

Site of future W and Element Hotel tower, at 15th & Chestnut Streets, and Chestnut Place office building, to the west, soon to be renovated into more luxury apartments

Looking south down Broad Street, from Spruce Street

Looking south down Broad Street, from Spruce Street

Symphony House Condominiums and Suzanne Roberts Theater, a block south on Broad from future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Symphony House Condominiums and Suzanne Roberts Theater, a block south on Broad from future SLS International Hotel and Residences

University of the Arts, next to the Kimmel Center and across Broad Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

University of the Arts, next to the Kimmel Center and across Broad Street from the future SLS International Hotel and Residences

Southstar Lofts, at Broad and South Streets

Southstar Lofts, at Broad and South Streets

The Arts Bank, at Broad and South

The Arts Bank, at Broad and South

Potential development site at Broad and Fitzwater Streets

Potential development site at Broad and Fitzwater Streets

777 South Broad Street apartments, at Broad and Fitzwater

777 South Broad Street apartments, at Broad and Fitzwater

Lot at Broad Street and Washington Avenue may have a large shopping center some day soon

Lot at Broad Street and Washington Avenue may have a large shopping center some day soon

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About gabrielcgottlieb

I am a real estate agent at Long & Foster Real Estate Center City and someone who likes to write about development and urban planning in the City of Philadelphia. Contact me at Gabriel.gottlieb@LNF.com if you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Philadelphia.
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