The Boyd and Pearl Properties Towering Apartment Building Update

You’ll recall I broke this story in 2013 after hearing Little Pete sold his building to Pearl Properties. Then I just put it together cause I knew Pearl owned the vacant lot next to Little Pete’s.  Today I’m going to tell you what seems to be the final story of this new Pearl Property.
I have a friend that just moved into the William Penn House on Chestnut Street.

The William Penn House is set back from Chestnut Street, and is accessed by a walkway. The new Pearl Building is planning to do a similar walkway to their new property.

 This the plan for the Pearl Properties (from Plan Philly) Without the details I’m about to tell you.

 Recently they had a building meeting where they discussed the latest development with the Pearl Properties/Boyd across the street from them. Things have changed from the last flurry of publishing’s.

This is what the Boyd Theater looked like on Sunday when I photographed it.
This is a good overview of the property (rooftops are ugly)
This is the outline of the property now.

What I understand my friend, and his neighbor telling me is, the neighborhood blocked any plans for the building to be built near the proximity of 19th and Chestnut Street. This was successful as there is zoning in place restricting the height of a building. Now it looks like Pearl is going to build their 29 story building where the Boyd Auditorium used to be, which I would make sense as that is a huge property, and create a walkway (see crude white arrow) which will lead to the main structure, see the red 29 story area. Update: Opps it’s going to be 27 stories.

As you know they are not allowed to demolish the building on the corner, which was once a QDoba, and is historically significant because a Civil Rights leader, Raymond Pace Alexander, Esq., who’s office was located there  (see Hidden Philly for a great article on Alexander.)

It’s a shame the Pearl Properties folks couldn’t see this beforehand and just gone after the Boyd property in the first place. Maybe they didn’t want to be the bad guys that were going to tear down the Boyd, and since it was in IPic’s plans, they got the heat, I mean the ball rolling on that and it seemed feasible to do. The reason the walkway is on 19th Street, was to avoid more congestion on Chestnut Street, but residents will also be able to enter the building on Sansom St which is where most of the new building will front.

I was wondering why they couldn’t put the walkway heading out to 20th Street, but they’d have to get a “right of way” through this parking lot. Sadly my friends view of Rittenhouse Square will be blocked by the new building, but he took it in stride saying that’s what progress is all about, and this design is a win/win for the rest of the building.

 Here is what the space is going to look like, and there’s much more detail over on
Philly Mag’s Property.