SLS Hotels Hopes To Seize Upon Philadelphia’s New Cachet With Broad St. Project

SLS Hotels puts its chicly designed, lavishly appointed lodgings in the U.S. cities most associated with luxury travel and youthful, free-spending abandon: Beverly Hills. South Beach. Las Vegas.

Philadelphia is now on that elite list.

After years of planning, work is set to begin in the fall on the 152-guest-room SLS Lux Philadelphia Hotel & Residences. It will rise 47 stories a few blocks south of City Hall and could open as soon as spring 2018.

The California-based hotel chain, part of hospitality mogul Sam Nazarian’s SBE Entertainment Group, is betting on Philadelphia’s budding sophistication as a shopping, dining, and sightseeing destination as it targets moneyed visitors seeking less-staid alternatives to the city’s existing stock of high-end accommodations.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/real_estate/commercial/20150601_SLS_Hotels_hopes_to_seize_upon_Phila__s_new_cachet_with_Broad_St__project.html#hZVU36MTce8vUDHS.99

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47-Story Hotel/Condo Building Set For South Broad Street

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The developer Carl E. Dranoff is partnering with Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment Group to build a 47-story, mixed-use luxury boutique hotel and condominium tower at Broad and Spruce Streets, across from the Kimmel Center, for more than $200 million.

The 422,838-square-foot SLS International, which Dranoff said would be Pennsylvania’s “tallest structure built for residential use,” is being designed by New York-based architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, whose chairman, A. Eugene Kohn, is a Philadelphia native.

The tower will rise 562 feet – 14 feet higher than the City Hall tower. Construction is expected to start next fall and take two years.

Dranoff said approvals for the project were at “the 3-yard line,” with Councilman Mark Squilla set to introduce legislation in City Council to extend the zoning designation CMX-5, which allows a higher building floor area in relation to the lot, past Spruce Street to Pine Street.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/20131217_47-story_hotel_condo_building_set_for_South_Broad.html#IlL8VeqUSgPMoCJT.99

Has North Broad Reached A Turning Point?

North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, 10...

North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, 100 block, looking south from Race Street, with Philadelphia City Hall (1874-1901) in the center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EVERY WEEKDAY, the 40 members of the Pennsylvania Ballet arrive from all over the region for a 9:30 a.m. class at the Ballet’s new headquarters on North Broad Street.

The leap from the old studios on South Broad, 10 blocks south of City Hall, to what is called Avenue of the Arts North is an important part of what city officials want to see happening on North Broad, seen for years as drab and boring.

The Ballet moved into its new space in January. The building, on the former site of a garage for armored trucks, has an entrance across Wood Street from Roman Catholic High School, and is known as the Louise Reed Center for Dance.

Location was everything, said executive director Michael Scolamiero.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131201_Arts_looking_north.html#4cGWPCsEheK4KydY.99

What The Avenue Of The Arts Has Meant To Center City Philadelphia Real Estate

English: The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia.

English: The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Banks moved out, theaters moved in, and – if the price of real estate in the neighborhood is any sign – things got a lot better around South Broad Street after the birth of the Avenue of the Arts.

Back in 1993, Peter C. Soens recalls, he sold the former Girard Bank building at Broad and Chestnut Streets, now home to the Ritz-Carlton, for $2 million.

Soon afterward, Soens, a partner at the commercial building broker and manager SSH Real Estate, sold One East Penn Square, across from City Hall, for $2.1 million.

By contrast, Soens said recently, “last year, 260 S. Broad St., a similar-sized building, also basically empty, sold for $27.5 million.” The buyer, Post Bros., says it will convert the former Atlantic office building to apartments.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131028_What_the_Avenue_of_the_Arts_has_meant_to_city_real_estate.html#A0AAAizI3Fxq8j78.99

Changing Skyline: Pop-Up Parks Perk Up Dull Philly Spots

Need a quick getaway? May I suggest a stroll over to South Broad Street?  Look for the opening in the crape myrtles, follow the juniper-lined path down to the grove, then take a seat in one of the vintage patio chairs, grab a beer, and settle in with a book.  You might actually mistake the whoosh of city traffic for the lapping of waves.

It seems only right that an instant vacation should be held in an instant space.

The hideaway in question is the latest addition to Philadelphia’s growing collection of pop-up parks, an increasingly popular and low-cost way for cities to carve out green retreats amid the crowded hardscape desert.  This one is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and, to be honest, it’s not really hidden.  It’s right there across from the Kimmel Center, between Spruce and Pine Streets.  It just feels as if it were a world away.

You could similarly indulge your escapist fantasies at the Porch, alongside 30th Street Station; at the University City District’s new Baltimore Avenue plaza; or at Eakins Oval.  As of Thursday, the interior of that glorified traffic circle has been outfitted with Parisian-style cafe tables and christened, “The Oval.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/home/20130712_Changing_Skyline__Pop-up_parks_perk_up_dull_city_spots.html#ksoDsGsIAxUBwmd8.99