Is Boyd Theatre Site the Key to Future Apartment Tower?

Pearl Properties purchased the theater for $4.5M and now own the corner of 19th and Chestnut.

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The site of the historic Boyd Theatre has been back in the news recently. Pearl Properies, who acquired the former movie palace at 1908 Chestnut Street in October for $4.5M, now owns the entire stretch from the Boyd east to the corner at 1900 Chestnut Street. While the proposed iPic movie theater is trying to work out a deal with Pearl, Saffron notes that future of the site is now up in the air: “What happens now is anyone’s guess.”

Except, as Saffron points out, that Pearl has been looking to build a 26-story apartment tower at 19th and Chestnut Street prior to purchasing the Boyd.

Now, adding the Boyd into the fold means that a tower at the site could very well be built– and by right, no less. Something that the ever-present photo sleuth HughE Dillon pointed out a while back:

So now that Pearl’s land grab at 19th and Chestnut is seemingly complete, what’s next? Whether or not the iPic movie theater plan works out is still unknown. PlanPhilly reported this week that they’re still confident they can work out a lease. Saffron didn’t seem too bullish about the prospects of that happening:

In March, iPic CEO Hamid Hashemi admitted the company wouldn’t have been able to afford a Center City location if [previous owners] Rodin hadn’t offered a bargain rent. So maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to have them out of the picture.

Saffron thinks that Jim Pearlstein, Pearl’s owner, has enough power to incorporate the lobby–lined with original etched mirrors and a mural dating back to 1928– into whatever future plans he has for the property.

Changing Skyline: iPic didn’t come, so now what for the Boyd? [The Inquirer]