Tower Investments Inc. took a step closer this morning to converting the State Office Building at Broad and Spring Garden streets into an apartment building with first-floor retail shops. City Council's Committee on Rules gave the OK for a zoning change that is expected to also get the nod next week from the City Planning Commission.
Developer Bart Blatstein told the committee the area, with the Philadelphia School District just to the south and the Community College of Philadelphia just to the west, is hurting for shopping areas. "They is very, very little retail," he said. "North Philadelphia needs a huge amount of retail to service the community."
One thing the area isn't lacking is parking. The building already has 127 underground spaces, a parking lot across the street and is served by a very busy Broad Street subway station. Blatstein said car-sharing programs are also creating less need for parking.