“They thought I was hallucinating,” Blumenfeld recalled. Their view of North Broad: “An empty, godforsaken corridor.”
Seven years later, Blumenfeld has leased all 265 apartments at Lofts 640, and his company – EB Realty – is finishing work on a major conversion of two buildings just across the street.
Most of the action on Broad St. in Center City has been happening south of City Hall ever since the 3.5 mile stretch of S. Broad St. was named the Avenue of the Arts in 1993. But recently there have been major projects like this one (developments totally around $500 million) opening up in that area. Here are some of the major projects to look out for:
The Pennsylvania Ballet – 17.5 million headquarters at Broad and Wood Streets
Temple University – $147 million residence hall at Broad and Cecil B. Moore Avenue and a $48 million expansion of the Pearson and McGonigle Halls sports complex.
Bart Blatstein’s Tower Investments – 2 projects in 400 block of N. Broad St: conversion of a state office building into apartments and a ‘mixed-use’ development for the current headquarters of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I used to be here all by myself,” Blumenfeld said. “All of a sudden, the big boys are showing up… I went from moron to genius””
“North Broad Street is a sleeper,” Blatstein said.
At the groundbreaking for the Pennsylvania Ballet project, Mayor Nutter celebrated the change on North Broad. Standing in a gutted brick garage that will become a dance studio, Nutter said, “Watch the transformation of North Broad. It’s taking place right before your eyes.”