1300 Fairmount | Via Civic Design Review, RAL Development Services, Cope Linder Architects.
Roughly a month after the Divine Lorraine’s groundbreaking, PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports Philadelphia’s zoning board voted last week in favor of approving the 1300 Fairmount Avenue project, which sits directly behind everyone’s favorite (formerly) lost jewel of a building.
As we previously noted, the plan for 1300 calls for 486 apartments, an estimated 84,000-square-feet of retail on Ridge Avenue (purported to be a two-level café with indoor and outdoor seating), a 6,000-square foot public plaza with 35 bike spaces, and a parking garage, which had required a special exception from the zoning board.
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Chef Paul Martin of SOUTH
Last week we shared the details on SOUTH, the North Broad Street restaurant and jazz bar from Robert and Benjamin Bynum. And today we’ve got Lafayette, Louisiana native Paul Martin’s opening menu.
The menu includes chilled seafood, appetizers, salads, soups and plates. The plates top out at $28 for Carolina white shrimp with lobster grits and a sirloin strip steak served with bourbon steak sauce and parmesan fondue.
A section of weekly specials includes a section of oysters, rock shrimp toast, Florida wahoo and chicken confit gumbo.
SOUTH is set to open this Friday, September 18th.
Check out the full menu »
Photo: James Jennings
News came down this week that Eric Blumenfeld had secured a $35 million construction loan to all but officially mark the redevelopment process at the historic Divine Lorraine.
“We finally got it done,” said Billy Procida, founder of Procida Funding & Advisors in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The company is providing the private funding for the Divine Lorraine and the other Blumenfeld projects on North Broad Street. Washington Square Realty Capital helped arrange the loan, which Procida described it as the longest and most complicated closing of his life.
But that’s all behind them now, and construction has actually started inside the famed building. “Domus is on site and they have started construction,” Christopher Cordaro, vice president at EB Realty Management, Blumenfeld’s development company, said in an email. “There is nothing holding us back now!”
It was a statement that Procida echoed: “It’s up and going, and ain’t nothing stopping it.”
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Robert and Benjamin Bynum (Warmdaddy’s, Heirloom, Paris Bistro and back in the day, Zanzibar Blue) are getting close to opening their New Southern cuisine and live jazz restaurant on North Broad. If all goes well SOUTH will be open in a couple of weeks.
Chef Paul Martin, a Lafayette, Louisiana native who has worked at Catahoula, Heirloom and with the Starr organization will bring the Southern food to life. Look for authentic Southern ingredients like Carolina wreckfish, Anson Mills grits, Sea Island red peas and Carolina Gold rice.
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1300 Fairmount | Via Civic Design Review, RAL Development Services, Cope Linder Architects
1300 Fairmount, a large mixed-use apartment complex planned on the vacant lot that all but wraps the Divine Lorraine on Ridge Avenue, sailed through the Civic Design Review process this week. Jared Brey of PlanPhilly reports that the project “received generally positive remarks” from a committee that hasn’t pulled any punches (positive or negative) as of late.
RAL, a New York-based development company, plans to bring 486 apartments to the site over multiple phases, with a supermarket as the retail anchor of the project. The two development teams–RAL and EB Realty Management, the developers of the Divine Lorraine–were working closely to ensure that the design of each building works with the other. The result is a more modern 19-story tower set with its massing set away from the Grand Dame of North Broad on Ridge Avenue.
Neighbors did have some concerns, reports Brey, as they sought some assurances from the developer that the project’s multiple phases–another apartment block built over the parking garage and also townhomes on 13th Street– would be fully realized. An emphasis was also placed on some safety issues around the site, namely better street lighting on Ridge and Fairmount avenues.
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Four light masts have risen on North Broad Street between Green Street and Fairmount Avenue. Photos: James Jennings | Rendering: Mark McDonald
Mayor Michael Nutter officially announced the plan that will completely change the look, feel and future of a nearly 2.5 mile stretch of North Broad Street from Hamilton Street to Glenwood Avenue.
The North Broad Streetscape project will see 41 “decorative light towers,” each standing 55-feet tall, introduced to the median of Philly’s main artery. The $8.7 million project is funded by a mix of federal, state and city funds and will look to spur even more investment on North Broad Street.
“As a government, we want do anything we can to support growth and development along this important corridor,” said Mayor Nutter in a press release. “The North Broad Streetscape project will give this area a cohesive look and make it a safer, more inviting place for customers and residents. This project will return North Broad Street to its former glory as a main thoroughfare for our great city.”
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Photo: Jeff Fusco
The Historical Commission gave its blessing to Eric Blumenfeld’s plans to revive the Divine Lorraine into a luxury apartment building with four “Vetri-caliber” restaurants split between ground floor and the underground Garden Veranda level, a sunken courtyard on the southern side of the project.
KYW’s Mike Dunn reports that William Alesker, an architect on the project, all but expected the Historical Commission to vote in favor of the plan, since “[the development team] spent a lot of time trying to get it right.” Here’s more:
“Our goal is to put it back as it was originally, in the 1933 design,” Alesker stated. “It’s a challenge doing the research to find out what was really there. It involved the investigation of old photographs, and just general research into what was there before. So it’s a challenge, but great fun to do.”
So does this mean that construction is finally about to begin on the long-awaited project?
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North Broad Street in April 2015| Photos: James Jennings
Brace yourselves, folks. News regarding the Divine Lorraine is going to come fast and furious until the “groundbreaking” event takes place, hopefully sometime in August. Think of it as Property’s version of “Pope Watch.”
On Tuesday, developer Eric Blumenfeld went before the Architectural Committee of the Historical Commission to present the plans for the historic renovation that’s about to take place at the Grand Old Dame of North Broad Street. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that the committee voted to approve the overall plans for the project, but had a few suggestions for the man at the center of North Broad’s revival.
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Here’s the one building at 339 North Broad Street | Rendering: Hanover
It’s been well over a year since we’ve checked in on the two mammoth lots that encompass the the southeast and southwest corners of North Broad and Callowhill. So long, in fact, that even we began to ask, is this project still alive?
As it turns out, the answer is yes. Parkway Corporation owns the land and has partnered with The Hanover Company out of Houston, Texas to develop both parcels. The mixed-use project will include 339 apartments, between 15,000- and 16,000-square-feet over four corners of ground floor retail and 370 parking spaces. Joe Zuritsky, chairman and CEO of Parkway Corporation, told Property that the team could break ground on the project as soon as the end of the year. “It’ll be a fantastic beginning of North Broad Street,” said Zuritsky, about the two large undeveloped plots south of Spring Garden Street. Read more »
An orange liquor license application spotted at the former Route 6 has revealed that Robert and Benjamin Bynum are opening a restaurant at the corner of Broad and Mt. Vernon Streets. The Bynums previously owned Zanzibar Blue in the basement of the Bellevue years ago. The new restaurant will feature Southern food and live jazz. But when I spoke with partner Harry Hayman earlier, he explained it will certainly not be a return of Zanzibar.
The plan is to feature national jazz acts, grabbing headliners who might be performing in New York to come down to Philadelphia during the week. The restaurant will highlight bourbons with more than a hundred available, including some on tap.
For food, the Bynums and Hayman will be heading to Charleston later this month for some reconnaissance. They plan to hit more than ten restaurants while they are there. A second trip will take them to Savannah. Nice gig if you can get it.
This isn’t the first time the Bynums have considered North Broad. Just about a year ago, we spotted them checking out the Divine Lorraine along with chef Al Paris.
The Bynum brothers also operate Warmdaddy’s in South Philadelphia and Heirloom and Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill.
With the good bones of Route 6, they’re hoping to open before the end of the year.