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North Broad Street redevelopment gets a heaping helping of culinary genius

Historically speaking, North Philadelphia certainly hasn't been a part of town known for inspiring trendy development projects. And that's exactly why last Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony at 600 N. Broad Street was welcomed with such hearty enthusiasm, especially by those who closely follow the city's ever-burgeoning restaurant scene.

Helmed by real estate developer Eric Blumenfeld, who has long been working to turn the stretch of North Broad Street between City Hall and Temple University into a sort of artistically gentrified urban playground, the 600 N. Broad Street mixed-use development will feature the projects of two restaurateurs and one caterer whose aesthetics might seem better suited to Old City, or even Northern Liberties or East Passyunk.

Stephen Starr, who supposedly has plans to launch at least four new restaurants in 2011, will be building a seafood restaurant known as Route 6 on the site, which was most recently home to the Wilkie Chevrolet-Buick Subaru dealership. Marc Vetri, meanwhile, will open a beer bar known as Birreria 600, and Joe Volpe (of the Cescaphe Event Group) will open a 700-capacity catering venture. Nearly 100 new apartments will also be a major part of the project, which comes with a $43 million price tag, $18 million of which will be publicly funded. The project is expected to be complete by October 2011.

Source: EB Realty Management Corporation and PMC Property Group
Writer: Dan Eldridge

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