actor and rapper Will Smith recently sold a property in his hometown where he
planned to develop a hotel and shopping center.
The city initially gave Smith the go-ahead to build a luxury
hotel and retail complex on the vacant lot in Philadelphia's historical Society
Hill section several years ago, promising $9 million in tax incentives to advance
Plans were delayed due to the weak hotel market.
The luxury hotel was to provide a view of the nearby Delaware
River and would have also been in the vicinity of South Street and Independence
Hall, two of the city's most recognized tourist areas.
Will and his brother Harry Smith sold the vacant site to Sant
Properties for $10.5 million, roughly three times more than what the family
bought the property for five years ago.
Sant Properties intends to construct condominiums in the location
formerly known as NewMarket, which was previously lined with stores and restaurants.
Development real estate firm has invested millions of dollars renovating buildings
and regions around Philadelphia, including a former furniture company, a historical
townhouse and a funeral home.
In 2002, Treyball
Development, named after Smith's son Trey, won the rights to build a minority
owned 500 room hotel in Broward County, Florida.
Treyball took the
project after the county cut ties with the previous developer.