Broad Street has been showing ever more life in recent years, as development continues to stretch north and south.  It’s an increasingly popular place to rent, with apartment buildings popping up all along the bustling thoroughfare.

But where should you be looking? Here’s how two popular rental options — one on each side of City Hall — compare.

Southstar Lofts
521 S. Broad St.


Live: Southstar Lofts is still shiny and new — its 85 units celebrate their first birthday this month. Those units rent for $1,600 to $3,400, and offer oversized windows and modern amenities, including developer Carl Dranoff’s pre-Indego bike share program. The building itself is notable for its green roof, LEED Silver certification, and the “Light Play” installation that casts rays of color on its Broad Street facade.

Eat: Juniper Commons, the newest restaurant from Kevin Sbraga, sits on Southstar’s ground floor; it’s one of many nearby options that skew upscale (think Tashan, Serpico and Volver). For more casual eats, the building also contains a pizza shop and an outpost of New York-based Big Gay Ice Cream.

Play: Southstar is in the shadow of The Kimmel Center, and in the midst of many other arts and shopping options. The South Street location also puts residents next to several bars and restaurants. 

Lofts 640
640 N. Broad St.


Live: Lofts 640 has stood the test of time: It’s been around for a decade. The 265 units range from $1,450 to $2,600, and building amenities include a yoga studio, a sun deck and a rooftop pool, designed to make the building feel like a haven within the city.

Eat: Residents here live above the area’s most acclaimed restaurant, Osteria, and adjacent to the more casual Alla Spina, both from Marc Vetri. The Food Trust also hosts a farmers market directly across Broad in the warmer months. While other great dining options — like 13th Street’s Bufad and Café Lift — aren’t far, they aren’t that close, either.

Play: The vibe up here is smaller home and quieter streets — some of which, at times, can border on feeling desolate). Residents don’t have as much at their doorstep, but there’s plenty within walking distance, like the edgy galleries and music venues of Callowhill (or whichever is your name of choice for that neighborhood), or the family-friendly blocks of Fairmount.