Construction on Eric Blumenfeld’s Mural Arts Lofts Project Will Begin in February

The former Thaddeus Stevens School will become 56 loft-style apartments.

The future site of Mural Arts Lofts, photo: James Jennings

The future site of Mural Arts Lofts, photo: James Jennings

Eric Blumenfeld’s transformation of North Broad Street is about to add another point on the map: the former Thaddeus Stevens School at Broad and Spring Garden Street.

In a tip of the cap to Philadelphia’s Mural Arts program, the development will now be called Mural Arts Lofts and consist of 56 loft-style apartments that seek to reuse the existing elements found in the school. Each unit will have the original chalkboards and built-in cabinets and the hardwood floors will also be restored in the process.

Thanks to a $16.2 million development budget–a figure that includes the purchase of the property–construction on the project will begin as early as February, according to Christopher Cordaro, Executive Director at EB Realty Management (EBRM). Cordaro described the building as having “great bones” that “lend itself to a straightforward build out.”

The style will be similar to the recently completed Wharton Street Lofts project at 12th and Wharton Street in South Philadelphia. Cordaro noted that they took multiple tours of that property for inspiration. Architect Richard Sauder is in charge of the design, David Chou is the Engineer and Domus will be heading up the construction efforts.

As for a timeline, let’s just say they’re moving quickly on the project. Cordaro anticipates that they’ll have “approximately 30 units” completed around July, at which time leasing will begin. A note from Billy Procida, founder of Procida Funding, says that “units will be available within the year.”

Procida, whose group has made over $3 billion in investments since 1995 and development projects include projects in New York’s Tribeca, Harlem and the South Bronx, recently provided Eric Blumenfeld’s group $31.5 million in funding in an effort to help jumpstart projects like The Divine Lorraine Hotel and the Metropolitan Opera House.

The building is instantly recognizable due to the “Common Threads” mural on its west-facing facade. “That’s not going anywhere,” said Cordaro, who also mentioned they have worked closely with Mural Arts in the past.

Not included in the current plans is a rooftop deck, which will come at a later date in another phase of the project. “The view is pretty amazing,” said Cordaro. While that may seem like a bummer, Cordaro mentioned that residents of EBRM’s properties on North Broad Street  have access to the rooftop amenities at the Lofts at 640–which includes a lounge and pool area.

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