Is Demo at the Boyd Theatre About to Take Place?

Some interesting permits have been filed on the 1900 block of Chestnut Street.

The corner building is staying. Not so for the next two. Photo: James Jennings

The corner building at 1900 Chestnut is staying. Not so for the next two. Photo: James Jennings

Are plans for the corner of 19th and Chestnut Street starting to take shape? A demolition permit hung on two of the buildings on site will certainly change the look of things and could point to the beginnings of a 26-story apartment tower. Here’s the thing, if city permits tell us anything, it looks like work will also begin (or has begun) on the historic Boyd Theatre as well. But first, let’s get into those orange stickers for a moment.

Issued on February 25, the permit shines some light on what the immediate future of the site could hold:

COMPLETE DEMOLITION OF 2-STORY BUILDING #2 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS 1902 CHESTNUT ST.) AND 2-STORY BUILDING #3 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS 1904 CHESTNUT ST). 2-STORY BUILDING #1 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS 1900 CHESTNUT ST) TO REMAIN.

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 5.05.39 PMBasically, the corner building–added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 and most recently a Qdoba– is staying. The two subsequent buildings–formerly a dollar store and steely-gray Industry XIX restaurant–will be razed. The permit says that “1900 Chestnut St will be demolished on or after 3-18-15” and lists JPC Group Inc. as the point of contact. We’ve left a message for JPC Group for more details but haven’t heard back.

Interestingly enough, a string of building permits (a major alteration, a zoning permit and two separate demolition permits) were issued recently for 1910 Chestnut Street, the Boyd Theatre. While there wasn’t an orange sign hung on the outside of the building regarding any demolition, these permits show work could soon happen on the site–if it hasn’t already. As you know, the exterior of the building has been deemed historically significant and must remain intact. That’s not the case for its Art Deco auditorium or lobby.

One of the demolition permits, issued on February 25, reads:

PARTIAL DEMOLITION OF CERTAIN PORTIONS OF THE REAR VACANT BUILDING (FORMER THEATER) AS SHOWN ON ATTACHED SITE DEMOLITION PLAN.

As we reported in December, Pearl Properties (and Chestnut Square Associates) now owns from the corner through the historic Boyd Theatre, the latter was purchased in October for $4.5 million. Pearl wants to develop a 26-story tower on the site and the addition of the former movie palace affords them enough space to build it by right. Reed J. Slogoff, listed as the contact for Chestnut Square Associates and part of the executive team at Pearl Properties, could not be reached for comment regarding the permits or the potential tower project.

Previous Boyd Theatre coverage [Property]