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Short-Term Rental Apartments Coming To Former Indie Movie Theater In Center City

The former Roxy Theater at 2021-23 Sansom St. in Philadelphia, seen months before demolition in March 2023.

Before its pandemic closure, the Roxy Theater in Rittenhouse Square showed independent films from lesser-known creators. Now, a similarly unheralded developer will lead the property's next life.

Jason Morris, a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Commercial, is soon to embark on the development of a five-story apartment building at 2021-23 Sansom St., which will be operated as a short-term rental property, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The Roxy Theater is scheduled to be demolished on June 9, with the facade at 2023 Sansom to be preserved and integrated into the replacement structure.

Because the parcel sits within the Rittenhouse-Fitler historic district, Morris needed permission from the Philadelphia Historical Commission to demolish the one-story theater building, which he obtained in 2022, the Inquirer reports. 

This spring, advertisements in the style of movie posters were hung on the exterior of the theater building promoting a project called The Silver, "a coming-of-age love story about the American Dream," the Inquirer reports. Actual details of the development weren't included on the poster, but local Brahin Properties and On-Site Consulting were listed as "producers." The poster also advertised an opening in spring 2025.

With construction scheduled to begin in late summer, Morris will join Genesis Capital CEO Gowtham Reddy as relative newcomers attempting to deliver mid-rise apartment buildings operated as hotel-type rental properties in Center City. Reddy's project at 225-39 North 13th St., dubbed Jaan at Center City, is slated for a similar construction timeline, with Austin-based Locale Hospitality on board to operate the hybrid hotel concept, CoStar reports.