Coming to a (Boyd) Theater Near You: Apartments, Retail, or a Restaurant!

Here's the latest on the Boyd Theater plans.

A photo posted by Leah Coonan (@leahcreation) on

Since having demolition start on its auditorium last month, we bet some of you have been wondering just what the heck is going to go down with the Boyd Theatre. Well, for those who’ve been keeping up on Property and had your fingers crossed for a proposed brand new multiplex by iPic, those plans for the Boyd (which were very enticing, admittedly) have been scrapped a while ago. Here’s what the Inquirer’ Matt Gelb writes will happen instead:

[…] a restaurant or retail store will instead occupy the expansive lobby built in 1928. Above it, 238 apartments in a 27-story tower will overlook a neglected block of Chestnut Street.

These plans were set in motion last week by an approved building permit for a litany of properties at 19th and Chestnut.


Nah, I mean this was kind of expected if you had noticed that developer Pearl Properties had pretty much acquired the “entire stretch from the Boyd east to the corner at 1900 Chestnut Street” before buying the Boyd itself for $4.5 million in October–essentially securing, in other words, a larger footprint for a residential tower they had long ago proposed for the corner of 19th and Chestnut. The development is now “subject to review,” but does not require zoning variances, which means it could be up for a quick approval. The permit states the tower is not to exceed 315 feet in height and plans to contain 66 parking spaces, 99 bike parking spots and three loading docks. It will be a mix of retail, office and residential space.

As for the Boyd? According to Gelb, the Boyd’s lobby, a space extending “some 150 feet back,” will be reused and occupied by a single-use tenant. Who those tenants might be, we can hardly guess. From the Inquirer:

[Deputy Mayor Alan] Greenberger said Pearl is not ready to disclose possible tenants. He praised the developers for “a smart arrangement of pieces” consistent with zoning code.

“There are a couple of surprises that people will find really enjoyable,” Greenberger said. “Some nice touches that will add to the strength of the whole proposal.”

Surprises? Hmm…

Development at Boyd Theatre site takes shape [Inquirer]