A section of North Broad Street was broken on Friday, and for once it didn’t mean potholes or poverty.
Last weekend Mayor Street joined about 300 people at the corner of Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue to break ground on a $75 million project dubbed “Avenue North,” which will house stores, a movie theater and, most importantly 800 new beds for Temple students.
Obviously the development will help absorb increasing enrollment rates and will hopefully foster more of an on-campus atmosphere for those students living near campus who yearn for something other to do than attend a frat party over the weekend.
Temple Chief Communications Officer Mark Eyerly, who said the project was “a real win-win,” said the new building will not only address student needs, but will also give those living in the community a movie theater and commercial outlets that they haven’t had in years.
“At one point [Cecil B. Moore Avenue] was a main commercial district for the city of Philadelphia and its these types of projects as well as other renewal projects that could revitalize Cecil B. Moore as an attractive magnet” that could draw traffic now flooding other parts of the city, Eyerly said.
He added that its “unbelievably convenient access” either by the C Bus or the Broad Street Line will facilitate more traffic into North Philadelphia, a part of Philadelphia relatively off-limits compared to wealthier sections of the city.
The project, which comes on the heels of a $90 million project near Spring Garden Street now underway by the Philadelphia School District, is a welcome dose of super glue for a segment of the city in need of some patchwork.