Originally Posted by hammersklavier
This stretch of Broad should serve as a major commercial corridor knitting G-Ho and Hawthorne together. And I think 777 will be a minor catalyst to do just that. (A more major catalyst needs to go up at the corner of Broad and Washington--both streets should be important avenues; yet both are absurdly distressed given their relative importance.)
hammer, always enjoy gawking at all your pics around the city, since i can't see the place myself, obviously. so thanks!
as for Broad & Washington: not sure whether you were active at that time or not, but a couple years ago, there was a huge thread on PhillyBlog regarding a proposal for the Southeast corner of Broad and Washington. The proposal was for a tall tower of mixed-use development, with the street level use being that related to the performing arts. There were some pictorials of a public plaza that could serve as an outdoor theater or just a meeting place. I don't recall all the details, but I do recall a lot of people being upset about this project for its height and how it would ruin the neighborhood (Hawthorne, I guess?).
There was big talk about the fact that the BSL has a station right there at Broad & Washington, so it would be a perfect location for a high-density mixed use development (A TOD concept, almost). There was also a lot of talk about turning Broad & Washington into some sort of a grand entrance with signage and proper development heft that would essentially proclaim a welcome for visitors not only to the Avenue of the Arts but to central Philadelphia city itself...especially if visitors use Broad St exit from I-95 (coming from the airport)...I know I always have taken that route into town.
I think it was championed by Dranoff? Or was it Rimas? May be not.
Anyways, google searching helps.
In fact, here is the WRT design page for the project:
I guess at this point, it is essentially dead and buried.
From back in 2007, the NYT did a piece on the Ave of the Arts that sang praises of all the projects along S. Broad. It has this tidbit on Broad & Washington:
And the City Council recently approved a major mixed-use project at the southern gateway of the Avenue of the Arts at Broad and Washington; it is to have 860 rentals and condominiums, 30 to 50 stores, and 1,500 parking spaces on about 5.5 acres.
In the not-too-distant future, the developer of Symphony House, Carl E. Dranoff, and a Philadelphia soul music pioneer, Ken Gamble, will announce details of the National Center for Rhythm and Blues, a $250 million 60,000-square-foot museum of Philadelphia’s musical heritage; the project includes studios, offices and retail spaces made financially feasible by two high-rise residential towers.
Suffice it to say that the Ave of the Arts still has long ways to go to fulfill all the potential and possibilities for all that's good about it.
and lastly, this, from tail end of the NYT article, still rings true:
“What’s really making the region work is that it’s considerably cheaper than New York and Washington,” Joel Kotkin, author of “The City: A Global History,” said. “Arts districts are nice, but the key question is, Will cities begin to focus on families and keeping the middle class?”
Nutter, are you listening??