North Broad Street is seeing quite a bit of new construction lately. The long-vacant Divine Lorraine Hotel is being renovated into apartments and a new high rise apartment building will be built next door soon. Two new apartment buildings are being built at Broad and Callowhill Streets. A new hotel is being built at Broad and Arch Streets in a former office building and several smaller buildings are being renovated near Broad and Fairmount Avenue. Now, another apartment tower is planned near Temple University, in-between the historic Freedom Theatre and the former Blue Horizon boxing venue, on the site of a former Jiffy Lube that was recently demolished. This new building will be a seventeen story high rise that will be almost 200 feet tall. It is being designed by Cecil Baker Architects and is tentatively being called 1324 North Broad Street.
The new apartment tower will have 180 rental units on floors three through seventeen. They will be a mix of studios, one, two, and three bedrooms. The first and second floors will have 4,000 square feet of retail. The apartment entrance lobby will have an atrium that will lead to amenities on the second floor, including a fitness center, a couple residential lounges, a terrace, as well as the sample unit. The front entrance will have an overhang over the sidewalk on Broad Street. There will be thirteen parking spaces, accessible from Carlisle Street in the back of the building, and 77 bicycle parking spaces. There will be plazas along the side at the front, with outdoor seating and a fountain, and a rain garden in the back. The exterior will have metal panels, louvres, and large windows, some of which will be operable.
This new apartment tower will likely appeal to non-students as well as Temple students, much like the Divine Lorraine will. It may attract those who work in Center City, but are looking for a more affordable neighborhood and it is a sign that the area around Temple is becoming acceptable to middle class workers looking to live within a short commute of Center City. This North Broad Street revitalization is similar to the revitalization happening nearby in Francisville, Yorktown, and Poplar, which are also attracting Center City workers looking for neighborhoods that are affordable, but that are also nice places to live.
By, Gabriel Gottlieb