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17-story tower planned for North Broad next to Blue Horizon

Its zoning permits were just approved

Plans for a 17-story mixed-use tower on North Broad next to the historic Blue Horizon boxing venue are moving forward, after the Civic Design Review committee and zoning board approved their design proposal and permits just this week.

The Cecil Baker-designed tower, which will house 180 units, will be sandwiched by two historic brownstones: the Blue Horizon to the south and the Freedom Theater to the north. The one-story structure currently standing on the proposed site will be demolished.

On Tuesday, the Civic Design Review committee voted to conclude the CDR process, though committee chair Nancy Rogo Trainer voted against it, citing concerns that the tower juts out in front of the Blue Horizon, calling its placement “overbearing.”

The 197,946-square-foot project also went to the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Wednesday, requesting permits to erect a marquee in the front for the residential entrance; 180 units from the third to 17th floor; 13 parking spaces; and more than 70 bike spaces. The ZBA granted the request.

Although the 197,946-square-foot project does tower above the two historic structures, Cecil Baker partner Christopher Blakelock noted that the height is in line with other new buildings along North Broad, including Temple’s 27-story Morgan Hall and the 15-story 1220 North Broad.