Smith and his brother
Harry Smith are about to hook Philly up. Will Smith who seems
to have no end to his money is pursuing a movie soundstage and
recording studio on the southern end of the Avenue of the Arts,
where Broad Street meets Washington Avenue. When complete, it
will also include apartments, shops, and space for television
and radio stations.
Rendell said: "The concept is extraordinarily exciting, it
would be [exciting] any where in the city of Philadelphia, but
especially at the mouth of the Avenue of the Arts." Financing
still must be secured and land still has to be acquired, Rendell
said, but "when you have Will Smith as one of the big co-venturers,
it gives us the ability to do things we wouldn’t otherwise be
able to do."
Smith brothers are partners in a local investment company called
Treyball Real Estate (named for Will’s son, Trey). They also are
building a hotel. The city may offer some public financing, Rendell
said, since the city likely would own or operate the soundstage
component, but that remains a matter of negotiation.