An old theater stood at the corner of N. 6th St. and Poplar St. for more than 100 years. Over the last decade, as the energy of Northern Liberties flowed towards the neighborhood’s western border, this building began to look out of place. Unfortunately, Northern Liberties has seen a lot of its industrial past demolished. Old warehouses, breweries, and workshops have been torn down and replaced with townhouses and condo buildings. The theater at 517-33 Poplar St. did not stand a chance. It was not historically protected and its insides had been gutted years ago.
In 2015, the owners of the property were granted zoning approval to combine two RSA-5 zoned lots, demolish the old theater, and construct a 40 residential unit building with a prepared food shop on the first floor, 35 car parkings spaces, and 16 bike spaces.
For years after the approval was granted, the site remained quiet. We saw no work happening at the corner and the theater was still standing through 2018. However, the owners remained persistent. Today, the old building has been demolished and the foundation construction is well under way.
We were unable to find any project renderings online, but were able to get a picture of the rendering on the construction signage, which was partially blocked by a fence. It looks like this will be a 5-story black and white building with red accents. Maybe this color scheme will help attract some Temple students, who could easily commute to campus from this location. Many of the residential units seem to have balconies, which was evident from some of the permits pulled for the property. This is a nice amenity that is not always offered in apartment buildings.
We appreciate the density that this project is bringing and look forward to finding out what kind of prepared food store leases the ground floor retail space. There are two massive projects three blocks west of here that we will be covering in the near future that will greatly assist with putting eyes on the street. Soon enough, the boarder between Northern Liberties and West Poplar may be less apparent.
Kyle is a commercial real estate agent at Rittenhouse Realty Advisors, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients buy and sell multifamily investment properties, development opportunities, and industrial sites.
Email Kyle@RittenhouseRealty.com if you are looking to buy or sell a property