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PHILADELPHIA-Six of nine candidates that expressed interest in developing a city-owned, 2.5-acre parcel approximately 12 blocks south of Kimmell Center on Broad Street have been asked to submit full development proposals and acquisition offers. Acting on behalf of the city, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. prequalified the finalists following a preliminary competition that calls mixed-use development on the land.

The finalists are a partnership between locally based Dranoff Properties and Universal Cos.; a partnership between Red Bank, NJ-based K. Hovnanian Homes and Bryn Mawr-based Moreland Development; Cranbury, NJ-based Matrix Development Group; locally based Metro Development; a partnership between Jenkintown-based Pitcairn Properties and Bloomfield, MI-based Pulte Homes; and Toll Brothers, which is based in Horsham. Proposals are due in September and PIDC expects a developer selection by the end of this year.

The land is at the northwest corner of Broad Street and Washington Avenue. PIDC president Peter Longstreth says its development “represents an important gateway to the Avenue of the Arts and an extension of this commercial, cultural and residential corridor.” A committee that includes representatives from PIDC and the city’s planning and commerce departments will choose the finalist.

The competition is similar to one PIDC conducted for redevelopment of the Broad Street parcel further north between Lombard and Pine streets. In that case, the nod went to the Dranoff/Universal team, which is constructing Symphony House, a residential tower that includes ground-floor retail and a new home for Philadelphia Theatre Co.

“Competition will be spirited,” Carl Dranoff, head of the company that bears his name, tells GlobeSt.com. “South Broad is now a hot location. It’s the new Old City,” he adds, referring to the neighborhood northeast of Independence Mall, which has experienced rapid-fire development of restaurants, shops and multifamily residences within the past five years.

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