Development Roundup: Digital Billboards Are Finally Coming to Market Street and Other Projects… says the "Times Square-ification" of Market Street East is now underway.

Market Street side of Mellon Independence Center. Photo credit: Google Street View

Market Street side of Mellon Independence Center.
Photo credit: Google Street View

Construction making way for video billboards set to line the roof of the former Lit Bros. building on Market Street has begun.’s Maria Panaritis reports $10 million went into the project with an additional $10 million going to updating nearby public amenities.

Investors and other involved parties are aiming for a New Year’s Eve light up as the area has long been a ghost of its retail past. The “stadiumlike, wraparound, LED signs” are expected to encourage redevelopment and bring in revenue, something it has already started doing:

Indeed, advertising contracts for billboards of this nature can be very lucrative. Merlini estimated that annual revenues from the signs to be installed atop the Lits building would be in the “seven figures.”

“We didn’t know what a revenue source it would be until we got into it,” he said, adding that advertisement contracts were already in place.

Here are other unfolding projects…

Narberth Place
A former church property called Elm Hall is on its way to being adaptively reused as six condos, two of which will have lofts. Main Line reBuild is behind the project, which is actually one-third of a larger plan to build three townhouses and restore another historic property (and convert it into more condos).

4224 Baltimore Avenue
U³ Ventures has long proposed a mixed-use condo complex for the corner of 43rd and Baltimore (it would include car and bike parking, apartment amenities and over 17,000 square feet of retail space). Now, locals are rallying behind the real estate firm’s plan via a petition that asks Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell to protect the site from alternative plans which might damage neighborhood character.

17 at Lawrence
Northern Liberties is getting seventeen new residences in the shape of 17 at Lawrence, a collection of three-story homes along Lawrence and Orkney Streets. Each property will include a 2-car garage, roof deck, and green roof. Below is a rendering of the interior:


17 at Lawrence