Developer plans new building atop parking lot at Edge

City Council is expected to approve the construction of a 14-story apartment-style building adjacent to the Edge at Avenue North.

The Edge, Avenue North’s 12-floor apartment building, will soon have a 14-story residency complex as its newest neighboring structure.

The building, proposed by Tower Investments LLC, has had land zoning changes approved by Philadelphia City Council last week. The council is expected to approve the construction of the apartment-style building this week.

The parking lot behind the Shops at Avenue North will soon be in the shadows of a building that will house up to 1,100 students. City Council approved zoning changes last week (Kevin Cook/TTN).

Tower CEO Brad Blatstein said the building will begin to resolve residency issues facing Temple.
“[City Council] liked the idea because it focuses student housing on the Broad Street corridor as opposed to pushing them into the neighborhoods,” Blatstein said.

The proposed building will house 1,100 students in 300 units, Blatstein said. The estimated cost is $50 million.

The building is a private enterprise by Tower, the company that also constructed the Edge. Though Blatstein said his company and Temple work “hand in hand,” the university has no involvement in the location or construction of the building.

Edge tenant Taylor Brana said the construction of a new building will only lead to overcrowding of the area.

“I think it will be a bad idea because there’s a lot of people as it is, and the area is kind of crowded,” the freshman biology major said.

Blatstein said the building will be built atop the parking lot behind the Shops at Avenue North, on the corner of Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. He said the parking lot itself would not be affected.

But Brana, who has already planned to move elsewhere, said erecting the building on top of the current parking lot would perpetuate parking problems already in existence.

“People need parking,” he said.

The influx of more than 1,000 students could attract more retail franchises to the area.

Coley Newkirk, a manager at Mecca Unisex Salon, expects his clientele to increase, as residents living in the building will likely frequent his shop.

“That’s more money generating. Ain’t nothing wrong with it,” he said. “[At 15th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue], the volume of people is high, so that’s a good thing for me.”

Newkirk, who has worked at Mecca for the last 11 years, welcomes the influx of student tenants the building will house.

“It’s amazing just to be around all these years and see the change that’s going on around here,” he said. “Temple be kicking juniors out, so they need somewhere to stay. It’s a beautiful thing.”

The Edge, which has 800 beds, opened to students in Fall 2006. The shops along Broad Street opened in the following months.

Sophomore marketing major Aly Webber said the apartment building could potentially solve the lack of student housing options.

“I think it will definitely help [housing for students],” she said. “I tried to get university housing for my sophomore year, and I was denied because it was not enough.”

Temple has had its share of housing issues in the past. As Temple’s student body has increased over the years, housing in residence halls has filled quickly. Some students rented apartments or houses in surrounding neighborhoods like Yorktown and have faced eviction for violating city ordinances.

“I think everyone at Temple is used to construction going on, so I don’t think it will be that big of a deal, but I think they definitely need more housing at Temple,” said Webber, who is an Edge tenant.

“All [developers] have to do is make it affordable,” Newkirk said.

Brittany Diggs and Chris Stover can be reached at

1 Comment

  1. It’ amazing to me how, a large university with so much brain power available, there is so little planning. Since the expansion in the 60’s. there has been a contentious relationships between the community and Temple. Instead of any strategic planning, things have only gotten worse. So what does Temple do years later?? They throw there students out to look for housing in a community that has already been mistreated by Temple and STILL has a contentious relationship with Temple. Is this what Temple calls “taking care of their students”?
    Also, I want to thank the students in Tyler that put Hello People signs in the windows that faces Diamond St. The residents in People’s Village (no, we are not Yorktown) noticed.

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