It makes sense, given how much Will Smith loves his hometown, that he would try to develop projects here. But as GroJLart reports, that path is strewn with failures, including a truly outsized proposal for one Silver City Studios to occupy 1 million square feet at Broad and Washington.
This place was gonna have it all — $150 million worth of film studios, music production, office space, rehearsal space, a youth learning center, residential units, indoor/outdoor performance space and retail. The studio idea was popular among city and state government officials (booster Mayor Ed Rendell loved it, naturally), but as you can tell if you swing by Broad and Washington now, it didn't happen.
Nor did the W Hotel Smith proposed for the Newmarket space in Society Hill, though it seemed close since Smith bought the patch of land for $3.5 million and partnered with Starwood Hotels. But as you can tell if you swing by the Newmarket site across from Headhouse Square now, it didn't happen.
Neither failure was Smith's fault. In fact, it's tempting to blame the city, but it's not clear that's fair either. All we know is this: since the two projects died in 2001, he hasn't been back for more.
· PHILAPHILIA: Dead-Ass Proposal of the Week: Will Smith's Philadelphia Failures [City Paper]