Hotel/condo tower project hopes to revitalize South Broad Street

SLS International Rendering
SLS International. Credit: KPF

A 47-story tower planned for Broad and Spruce streets is intended to act as a “catalyst” for the future of development to the south of Center City, said architect Gene Kohn at a press conference yesterday.

“The city needs new tax base, it needs growth, it needs excitement,” Kohn said of the SLS International Hotel & Residence project, which his firm, Kohn Pedersen & Fox, designed. “We need some development, or the picture is not pretty for the future.”

But Mayor Michael Nutter also urged Kohn, developer Carl Dranoff and SBE hotels magnate Sam Nazarian to keep in mind the history of the location where they plan to build SLS International Hotel & Residence — 301-311 South Broad Street, the longtime home of Philadelphia International Records. It was also where former Mayor F. Wilson Goode had offices. The building is still in use today but suffered significant fire damage in 2010.

“We need to be mindful of that history. I ask you to incorporate the recognition of that history into this,” Nutter said.

In fact, according to Dranoff, the name of the $200 million project, SLS International, is already a nod to Philadelphia International – which was famous for the “Philadelphia sound,” showcased in the recordings of artists such as The Three Degrees, Teddy Pendergass, and The O’Jays.

Kenny Gamble, who along with Leon Huff ran Philadelphia International, is selling the building to Dranoff Properties and was pleased that the name “International” will remain, he said at the press conference.

“I think it helps keep the memory of what happened here and gives it more of an attraction,” Gamble said.

Passersby on the street had a variety of reactions to the look and location of the project.

“They’re going to put that here? Wow,” said Benjamin St. Fort, 18, after seeing a rendering. “I guess it’s good, if they think it will help us.”

Plans for the project were unveiled Tuesday at the Kimmel Center, across the street from the future site of the project.

Developer Carl Dranoff said SLS International will be the tallest residential-focused building in Pennsylvania, at 562 feet tall – taller than the William Penn statue on top of City Hall.

The project calls for condos from floors 20 to 47, hotel rooms on lower floors, and amenities including restaurants, a gym, and a spa closest to the ground level.


Follow Sam Newhouse on Twitter: @scnewhouse

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…


Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.


African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.


Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.


Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.


Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.


Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.