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  • Writer's pictureAndre Watson

Temple eyes 900-bed mixed-use development on North Broad, acquires more property

The campus of Temple University in North Philadelphia.

Temple University is plotting a new mixed-use student housing building with 900 beds and 20,000 square feet of retail space, part of a broader development plan the school is undertaking along North Broad Street.

Under a partnership, the university plans to lease land it owns from 1518-1526 N. Broad St. to a developer who would build out and operate the project. Temple Chief Operating Officer Ken Kaiser declined to disclose the developer. He said the project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2026.

Temple purchased the four contiguous parcels between 2009 and 2014 for a combined $4.3 million, city property records show. All together, the properties total 22,000 square feet of what is currently vacant land. Each parcel is zoned CMX-4, allowing for commercial mixed-use development.

The new building would be market-rate housing and not Temple-affiliated under the partnership, Kaiser said.

"We get a needed service to the university community without us having to impact our balance sheet, we get a revenue stream from it, and it lets students move onto Broad Street," Kaiser said about the benefits of partnering with a private developer.

The lot sits between West Oxford and Jefferson streets across from the Sullivan Progress Plaza shopping center and immediately south of Temple's 33-story, 1,275-bed Morgan Hall. The new building would be market-rate housing and not Temple-affiliated under the partnership, Kaiser said.

"In raw terms, we're supplying the land [for the project]," Kaiser said.

He said that there's always demand for additional housing along Broad Street, but the project is more about moving students already housed in the broader neighborhood to Temple's main corridor. The goal is to ease town and gown issues, enliven Broad Street and improve safety along the corridor, Kaiser said.

The school is currently charting its latest master plan, which Kaiser said it aims to have completed by the end of 2023. That plan will likely include potential development on the northern edge of the campus along Broad Street.

With a recent acquisition, the school now owns 11 of the 14 parcels on the 2000 block of North Broad between West Norris and Diamond streets, property records show. The block is located just outside of Temple's official campus boundaries, which extend up through Diamond Street on the east side of Broad, but not the west, where the newly acquired properties sit.

The university recently paid $1.3 million for 2012 N. Broad St., a 5,700-square-foot building home to Vietnamese restaurant Yummy Pho.

The purchase comes on the hells of school's acquisition of a parcel housing a 7-Eleven for $4.3 million on the same 2000 block of North Broad Street. Kaiser said having contiguous land on Broad Street is an asset for the school and it will look to acquired additional properties that are presented at a fair price.

"There’s no immediate plans, at some point I’m sure it will become part of a broader development that the university will pursue at a later date," Kaiser said. He added that Yummy Phở will stay open for the time being.

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