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  1. #1
    eldondre is offline Moderator
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    Default Boyd Redevelopment

    The proposal, which Wheeler will present next week to the city's Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment, calls for a glittering, multicolored hotel tower and events space to rise on a surface lot behind the theater, with a facade facing Sansom Street.

    Instead of viewing it as a hard-luck case that needs to be rescued, Wheeler saw the exuberantly decorated Boyd playing the role of glamorous anchor in a major mixed-use development. Narrow, neglected Sansom Street, which the city has senselessly tried to downgrade to an alley for parking cars, would be recast as a quiet, elegant back street lined with cafe tables.

    ...What makes it all work is the ingenious design and site plan by Wheeler's architect, Gary Martinez of Martinez + Johnson Architects in Washington. His assignment was to integrate the tower into the Boyd to create a synergy between the hotel spaces and the theatrical ones. But he was obviously keen to telegraph the interior glamour of the old movie palace onto the skyline.

    The task was made more challenging by a Rubik's cube of a site, an L-shaped parcel with narrow frontages on Sansom and 20th Streets. Martinez puts the hotel on Sansom Street, wedging it into an open lot between the theater's backstage wall and the Kate's Place apartments. That siting establishes a new continuity on Sansom that should help make it a real street again, while tying the building directly into the theater.
    http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news...yd_s_back.html

  2. #2
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    Hospitalitygirl is offline Moderator
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    Maybe finally, something will come of this parcel? It would be nice to see it restored. And usable in some way.
    I am not the Jackass Whisperer.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hospitalitygirl View Post
    Maybe finally, something will come of this parcel? It would be nice to see it restored. And usable in some way.
    I always thought that something would happen there, that it was only a matter of time before someone realized the value in it and developed it. Sure it is not a done deal, but it is encouraging to see a private developer find value in the theater.
    "No one wanted to be mayor of Philadelphia. It was a thankless job, which for the first 56 years offered an annual salary of zero. In 1745, two men turned down the position and instead accepted large fines. In 1747, Anthony Morris fled to Bucks County to hide and thus avoid notification of his election. After Morris’s disappearance, a new election was held, and William Atwood was re-elected."

  4. #4
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    hammersklavier is offline A Fortnight Dead
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    ARCWheeler's doing the redevelopment. Hal Wheeler's got a successful track record. I have faith.

  5. #5
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    Wait... she likes a tower ..in a residential neighborhood.

    I just don't get it the criticism of similar projects but a glowing one of this.


    Either way I look forward to this project. I hope to see even more new structures on the horizon. Literally.


    Wait... wait.. she had to bash the driveways for ruining all life on earth.

  6. #6
    niel is offline PB transplant
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    I'll believe it when I see it. The Boyd has had more false futures than about any other building in the city. I sincerely hope this works, though.

  7. #7
    Litter Box's Avatar
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    With a thread about the Royal I was wondering about the Boyd. On Google the newest info is about a year and a half old. Anything new or is just going rot in place until it catches fire ? It is historical so that limits options but it is about time for someone to do something.

    But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me.
    12/21/2001 White House release: President Highlights

  8. #8
    hammersklavier's Avatar
    hammersklavier is offline A Fortnight Dead
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    ARC's got it on the back burner in favor of 401 Race. After the debacles related to 10 Ritt's foreclosure, ARC will have to do some real financing to get a project off the ground again. If you look at the renderings, the Boyd is more complex (expensive) than 401 Race...so, so long as they keep the shell maintained, they can use the other project to build up acumen and potential financing partners for this project. I highly suspect that is ARC's current internal plan...especially if they've got an internal Let's-Do-This-for-Hal-Wheeler mentality.
    "It was one of those moments that would have had dramatic music if my life were a movie, but instead I got a radio jingle for some kind of submarine sandwich blaring over the store's ambient stereo. Man, the movie of my life must be really low-budget." Dead Beat

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  9. #9
    Litter Box's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
    ARC's got it on the back burner in favor of 401 Race. After the debacles related to 10 Ritt's foreclosure, ARC will have to do some real financing to get a project off the ground again. If you look at the renderings, the Boyd is more complex (expensive) than 401 Race...so, so long as they keep the shell maintained, they can use the other project to build up acumen and potential financing partners for this project. I highly suspect that is ARC's current internal plan...especially if they've got an internal Let's-Do-This-for-Hal-Wheeler mentality.
    It looked like it was on hold, the Friends of the Boyd site has timed out. Google had nothing for months. Thanks for the reply.
    But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me.
    12/21/2001 White House release: President Highlights

  10. #10
    Jayfar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litter Box View Post
    the Friends of the Boyd site has timed out.
    Works for me.

    Friends of the Boyd
    “Guys like you I would dispatch with my roofing axe.” -- BootsywannabeACretin

  11. #11
    MTEMPLE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayfar View Post
    Works for me.

    Friends of the Boyd
    Maybe he meant it hasn't beeen updated in awhile. Financing has become increasingly hard again without a proven track record.

  12. #12
    hammersklavier's Avatar
    hammersklavier is offline A Fortnight Dead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayfar View Post
    Works for me.

    Friends of the Boyd
    Yeah, me too. Most recent update was February, and the update before that back in '09.

    Does anybody know how well mothballed the building is? If it's poorly mothballed that could be a problem in a longer term.
    "It was one of those moments that would have had dramatic music if my life were a movie, but instead I got a radio jingle for some kind of submarine sandwich blaring over the store's ambient stereo. Man, the movie of my life must be really low-budget." Dead Beat

    Help oppose SCRUB and bring some life back to Market East! Concerned Citizens for Market East Check out my new blog, too!

  13. #13
    Litter Box's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayfar View Post
    Works for me.

    Friends of the Boyd
    Must be me. When I was doing the Google one of the sites had that note that the site was available for purchase, it obviously was not the Friends of the Boyd. I may be losing it.
    But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me.
    12/21/2001 White House release: President Highlights

  14. #14
    phillyaggie is offline Senior Member
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    I was looking at the web site, and the latest update is from June-- asking people to sign up on their facebook page.

    Has anyone heard anything new about this site? The hotel/redevelopment plans are basically dead in water now, or just dormant?

    And how active is the Friends of the Boyd group? I would like to participate in their future events with a friend who recently moved to Philly from San Fran and is wondering what's taking so long to get this thing moving...she'd love to be active in the Friends organization.
    "The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That's the only difference."
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  15. #15
    rojnish is offline Senior Member
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    Default Saint Haas

    Howard B. Haas

    Friends of the Boyd

    Very active, indeed. Thankfully, Mr. Haas is tireless. Sign up for their mailing list and you will receive a weekly update. Unfortunately, things got set back when Hal Wheeler passed away, but the Friends of the Boyd are actively trying to find other investors to keep this dream alive. This is such a beautiful interior (and atrocious exterior) that could/should be a jewel on Chestnut St. rather than a blight. Please get involved. Please encourage everyone you know that gives a care about downtown to get involved. We must save this landmark.

  16. #16
    PBResident is offline Senior Member
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    Was sitting at Starbucks at 19th and Chestnut this morning.

    Saw a group of about 10 well dressed people standing outside of/looking at the Boyd.

    Then they came in to Starbucks and had a little meeting.

    Then they went back to the Boyd and got let in.

    Then I overheard a random contractor saying they want to turn it into a hotel.

    That's all I got. I snapped pics of the group when they were in Starbucks.

    I can post them if anybody wants to try and identify the players.

  17. #17
    mixiboi's Avatar
    mixiboi is offline Philly Remixed
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    And then USA Today has an article about this:

    Old movie theaters find new life

    Howard Haas, president of Friends of the Boyd, says the historic Boyd Theatre in Philadelphia is for sale and in need of investors and money to bring it back to life.
    "We need an angel of some sort," Haas says.
    Graphic Designer, Social Media Consultant. Twitter: @Sdlaugh

  18. #18
    PBResident is offline Senior Member
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  19. #19
    phillyaggie is offline Senior Member
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    meanwhile, Houston is getting branches of Trader Joe's finally. As is Dallas.

    Except that one of Houston's Trader Joe's is going to be in a classic old movie theater, The Alabama. They got all the approvals to get rid of the old marquee, and get rid of all the interiors... I'm thinking, what a waste! But reading almost all the replies to the article, most people are going gaga over having Trader Joe's come to Houston, nobody gives a damn about saving the old architecture. It's all about current business, no respect for the past.

    Just thought I'd share an almost 180-degree experience from what we see in Philly-- almost every development has neighbors and people with hardly no interest in the project up in arms about trying to save some old building they think makes the city what it is... I wonder whether the Boyd would already be something else right now if there was more of a red carpet rolled down for development, albeit with care given for historic preservation. People forget that historic preservation takes a lot of money, money that this town doesn't have or can't seem to attract in big enough amounts.

    Historic and current Pics of the Trader JOe's spot/ old theater in Houston:

    City approves proposed Trader Joe’s space | Prime Property | a Chron.com blog

    compare the "powers" of the commission in houston to the one in Philly...

    and the pics:

    Welcome to Houston, Trader Joe’s | Prime Property | a Chron.com blog
    "The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That's the only difference."
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  20. #20
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    I think people in Philly take a lot of what we have for granted simply because we have so much old stuff. The Boyd has gotten a lot of attention in the presrvation community but it ends there. Sadly a lot of people walk by it and see blight, not potential. I think those involved in its preservation are trying to get the word out, but the city's non-profit organizations can sometimes to be a little too idealistic for their own good.

    With all of the successful bars and restaurants in the area, I find it hard to believe that there isn't a single investor in Philadelphia that could turn such a small piece of property into a profitable, self-sustaining business. Open up a bar in the lobby and show old movies every weekend, dinner theater, put in a restaurant with singing waiters and waitresses.

    I've never been in the building, but from the pictures I've seen it's in remarkably good condition. I certainly wouldn't want to see it turned into a Finish Line, but I think those really fighting for its preservation are leary of campaigning for uses that deviate from restoring it to its former glory. You might be able to turn a profit as a one room movie house if you were able to open its doors in it's current condition, but to make back the money that is apparently required to reopen it, you're gonna have to give patrons more bang for their buck.
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