News

Apartment building proposed just south of Main Campus

The proposal calls for 180 apartments and 4,000 square feet of street-level retail space.

A 17-story, mixed-use building has been proposed for an empty lot on Broad Street near Master, documents submitted to the Civic Design Review board show.

The building, which would sit at 1324 N. Broad Street, is described as a “new multi-family residential development” in the submission plan to the board. The board’s review will give the public a chance to comment on the project’s proposal and compare it with current building standards on Nov. 1.

A development group, named after the address of the proposed building, 1324 N. Broad LLC, has identified Cecil Baker + Partners as the architect for the project. The plan proposes 180 residential units, a 13-car garage, about 4,000 square feet of retail space, a gym and a 77-bike storage room. Apartments vary from studio spaces to three-bedroom units.

COURTESY CECIL BAKER + PARTNERS

COURTESY CECIL BAKER + PARTNERS

A spokesperson for the architecture firm said the project is in the development phase and declined to comment further.

The Freedom Theatre, a historic African-American theater, currently stores its set-building materials on the lot where the proposed building would be. The theater’s nonprofit, New Freedom Theatre Inc., sold the lot to 1324 N. Broad LLC last year for $2.2 million, city property records show.

Sandra Haughton, the executive producing director at the Freedom Theatre, said an apartment complex could bring in new audiences and make more people aware of the theater’s productions.

She said since the review of the plan is next week, she hasn’t made up her mind about the proposed adjacent property.

“The Freedom Theatre is a national historical landmark,” Haughton said. “So whatever they do, it won’t really impact us, or at least it’s not supposed to.”

In 2014, the university released “Visualize Temple,” a plan for the construction and revitalization of Main Campus, which expresses a need for more housing available to students. It listed a need for 1,170 new beds and 2,443 “demo and replacement beds.”

University spokesman Brandon Lausch told The Temple News that the project is being privately developed.

“As far as I’m aware,” he said in an email, “we are not involved.”

In the past decade, Morgan Hall and Apartments@1220 North Broad — a hotel-turned-apartment complex which houses and advertises to students — have become on- and off-campus options for student housing, as well as a few others. The plan proposal compares 1324 N. Broad as being similar in size and purpose to these options.

The proposal for 1324 N. Broad also mentions other similar development projects, like the Divine Lorraine on Broad Street near Fairmount Avenue. If it is approved, 1324 N. Broad would fit with the City Planning Commission’s district plan of revitalizing the “Lower North” district, which runs from Lehigh Avenue to the north, Poplar Street to the south, Fairmount Park to the west and Front Street to the east.

The CDR board will review the plan for the building on Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. at 1515 Arch Street. The review is open to the public.

Paige Gross can be reached at paige.gross1@temple.edu or @By_paigegross.

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