By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new agency is hoping to do for North Broad Street what the “Avenue of the Arts” has done for South Broad.

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South of City Hall, Broad Street has seen a boom of theatres, hotels, and restaurants since the nonproft group “Avenue of the Arts” was formed two decades ago.

At a news conference today at Broad and Spring Garden Streets, City Council president Darrell Clarke said a new agency — the “Avenue North Renaissance” — aims to spur residential and commercial development on North Broad.

“This is different up here. This is going to be a different focus, which is why we call it ‘Avenue North Renaissance.’ Because it is going to be the renaissance of North Broad. It will not be primarily focused on cultural activities,” Clarke (at lectern in photo) said.

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And he says it would help if developer Bart Blatstein wins the city’s second casino license for his planned “Provence” project, at the former Inquirer building, nearby at Broad and Callowhill. But Clarke says the new agency’s efforts are not contingent on a casino.

He says some city money will fund the agency, and he says specific projects will be announced in the coming weeks.


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