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June 08, 2016

New developer floats plan to replace former Society Hill Playhouse

Storied theater closed in March after a nearly six-decade run

Development Apartments
Society Hill Playhouse Google Street View/Google

Society Hill Playhouse, located at 507 S. Eighth St. and owned by Deen Kogan.

After nearly six decades as a staple of Philadelphia theater, Society Hill Playhouse took a final bow in March with a two-run show of "Liberty City Radio Theatre," ending a tradition of diversity, localism and audience engagement that has shaped the city's thespian landscape.

It was already out there that Horsham-based luxury development company Toll Brothers would demolish the building at 507 S. Eighth St. to make way for 17 condo units and 18 parking spaces. That plan was later altered to 20 rental apartment units and no on-site parking after neighbors objected to the original proposal.

In both scenarios, the building had been slated for demolition, but then Toll Brothers abruptly dropped plans to do anything at all, Property reported earlier this week.

According to PlanPhilly, a new developer has entered the picture with a proposal for a multi-family building to include 26 units, eight parking spaces, 10 bike spaces, and a green roof that would utilize a zoning bonus permitting additional density.

A zoning/use permit posted on the building this week names Spruce Law Group as the applicant and Deen Kogan Charitable Remainder Trust as the owner. Kogan, who spoke with PhillyVoice in March about the history and mission of Society Hill Playhouse, has already gutted and cleared out the property.

The developer behind the new proposal has not yet been identified and an informational meeting with neighbors is set to take place next week.