Naked Philly Blog Posts – OCF Realty http://www.ocfrealty.com Sun, 22 Oct 2017 01:42:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.6 http://www.ocfrealty.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/favicon2.png Naked Philly Blog Posts – OCF Realty http://www.ocfrealty.com 32 32 Several Old Buildings Going or Gone on Marston Street in Brewerytown http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/brewerytown/several-old-buildings-going-gone-marston-street-brewerytown http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/brewerytown/several-old-buildings-going-gone-marston-street-brewerytown#respond Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:55:33 +0000 http://www.ocfrealty.com/?post_type=naked-philly&p=436451 The post Several Old Buildings Going or Gone on Marston Street in Brewerytown appeared first on OCF Realty.

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We’ve visited the 1300 block of N. Marston St. a couple of times over the years, both times promising some major change on the horizon. In 2015, we showed you three rehabs on the western side of the block and speculated that the former industrial buildings across the street could soon get redeveloped. Earlier this year, it seemed like our predictions were coming true, as we learned about plans for an addition to a former milk depot at 1327 N. Marston St., and spotted a demolition notice on an old garage a few doors down. Still, we were concerned that the blighted but strong boned 1335 N. Marston St. was still privately owned and might not get redeveloped alongside the surrounding buildings.

View of 1335-41 N. Marston St. from earlier this year
1327 Marston St. from earlier this year

We were in the neighborhood the other day and we can tell you there’s finally some serious change afoot. On the eastern side of the block, all of the buildings are fully or partially demolished. Within the last year, a developer purchased 1335 N. Marston St., 1339 N. Marston St., and 1341 N. Marston St., and tore ’em all down. It seems that the building we were worried about ended up changing hands after all, though as we said previously we would have preferred a reuse rather than demolition.

Current view on the block
New foundation

Already, there’s one foundation in place on the northern end, where the developers will build a quadplex. Next door, look for another quadplex and an eight-unit building.

Demolition for former milk depot

Meanwhile, to the south, plans have changed. Developers had pulled permits to build an addition at 1327 N. Marston St., a project that called for 17 residential units. Then they sold the property this past January. Either the building was too far gone or the new owners simply prefer a fresh slate, as they’re now in the process of completely tearing down the old milk depot. We have to think that the building that will rise in its place will include the same unit count, but since they haven’t pulled those permits as of yet, we couldn’t say what they’re doing for sure. What we can say is that major change is finally in the air on this block of Marston Street. Within a year or two, a couple dozen new people will be living on this block, though unfortunately in less interesting buildings than were here before.

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Addition and a Restaurant Coming at 18th & Fairmount http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/francisville/addition-restaurant-coming-18th-fairmount http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/francisville/addition-restaurant-coming-18th-fairmount#respond Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:29:24 +0000 http://www.ocfrealty.com/?post_type=naked-philly&p=450011 The post Addition and a Restaurant Coming at 18th & Fairmount appeared first on OCF Realty.

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We’ve always had an appreciation for the building at 1801-03 Fairmount Ave., with its curved facade at the corner and its metal cornice above the first floor. We wonder about the building’s history, whether there was ever more than just one story at the corner, and what kind of businesses operated here back in the day. Maybe a drug store? A diner? Maybe someone that lives in the neighborhood can help fill in the blanks. More recently, the building has housed an art gallery on the first floor, but that’s going to change rather soon.

View of the building

Looking at the building, you can see there are zoning notices posted, advertising some upcoming construction. Developers have the property under agreement, after it sat on the market for less than a week at a list price of $1.325M. According to the zoning notice, the new owners are looking to build an addition to the building, to a height that doesn’t exceed 55′. The renovated building will include a restaurant on the first floor and 10 apartments on the upper floors, assuming it gets approval from the ZBA. We suspect the building will maintain its curved corner, but we couldn’t tell you whether it’ll retain the metal cornice that makes it so fun. As for the restaurant that’s planned for the space, we’ve heard nothing at this point.

Mortgage Security Trust building

It’s also possible that the new owners of 1801 Fairmount Ave. don’t yet have a restaurant tenant in place, but have a desire to land a restaurant tenant once they get their approvals. With Bar Hygge across the street, the relocated RyBread down the block, and Tela’s Market immediately to the west, another dining establishment would certainly make sense at this location. The same could be said for the Mortgage Security Trust building across the street, which underwent a major renovation about a year ago. Those huge windows would look great in a dining room, wouldn’t you agree?

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Another Target Location, This Time in Point Breeze? http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/point-breeze/another-target-location-time-point-breeze http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/point-breeze/another-target-location-time-point-breeze#comments Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:53:41 +0000 http://www.ocfrealty.com/?post_type=naked-philly&p=450007 The post Another Target Location, This Time in Point Breeze? appeared first on OCF Realty.

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1144 S. 23rd St. was home to a church for a long time, but it’s been sitting vacant for about a decade. A little over a year ago, we noticed that the building was getting a little bit of work done, mostly interior demolition. We observed that the building had traded in 2015 for $85K and that the new owners were looking to flip it. And flip it they did, finding a buyer at $155K shortly after we brought the property to your attention. We were hoping that a new buyer would renovate the existing building but retain some of its more unique architectural details. We were hopeful for one of the more unique looking buildings in the neighborhood.

In the past

Passing by the property over the last few months, we’ve been disappointed to see the building slowly transition to a more standard looking structure as the owners convert it into a single family home. Most upsetting is the fact that they’ve abandoned the lancet-style windows on 23rd Street, opting for normal, double hung windows you see all around town. It’s less surprising that they’ve relocated the front door from the middle of the 23rd Street facade to a more standard location, though it would have looked a little funny to maintain the door shape and location if they were going to square off the windows.

As we could have predicted, the developers have added a third story to the building. We wouldn’t have expected, though, for the new addition to be entirely covered in red cladding, an architectural choice that makes the home resemble a very small Target. The fact that the rest of the building (aside from a small section on the first floor) is covered in white stucco makes the Target vibe feel even more pronounced.

Current view

In the end, this will indeed be one of the most unique buildings in the neighborhood. It’s just not quite happening in the way we imagined.

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Target Opens Its Doors Near the Parkway http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/logan-square/target-opens-doors-near-parkway http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/logan-square/target-opens-doors-near-parkway#comments Wed, 18 Oct 2017 22:51:53 +0000 http://www.ocfrealty.com/?post_type=naked-philly&p=447364 The post Target Opens Its Doors Near the Parkway appeared first on OCF Realty.

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It was almost exactly a year ago that Whole Foods abandoned their longtime home on the 2000 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in favor of a larger, fancier space a couple blocks away in the Dalian on the Park building. Before that move occurred though, Target, uh, already had the former Whole Foods location in their sights for yet another mini-Target location, the fourth such location announced in town. And now, after some major renovation efforts, the new Target has opened its doors.

From the parking lot

We’ve visited the other mini-Target locations on Chestnut Street, and this one felt like the largest of the bunch. The building has about 38K sqft of space, which makes it about a third of the size of a typical Target these days, but the South Philly Target certainly doesn’t seem to be three times the size. Perhaps the space feels extra large because it’s all located on one floor, it has very high ceilings, and there are plenty of windows that draw in natural light. Who knew that windows in a Target could make such a difference?

The product mix confirms that this Target is indeed larger than its sister stores on Chestnut Street. The clothing department is markedly larger than than the other locations, and the tech department actually has some televisions for sale. The grocery section also felt like it was larger than the other locations, or maybe it was just the layout that made it feel larger. We repeatedly found ourselves trying to remember the layout of the old Whole Foods, which had a much more claustrophobic feel, but the design is so different that it was a bit of a struggle. Here, check out these photos of the interior to see what we mean:

Lots of clothing options for men, women, and children
Starbucks next to the entrance
Check out area
Looking back toward the entrance from the baby clothing section
Groceries in the rear

Perhaps the best part of our visit was the fact that the parking lot was mostly empty, as word hasn’t really gotten out that the Target was finally open. Sadly, it seems that the parking lot has not undergone a redesign, and we imagine it will resume being a hassle to navigate on weekends. So it goes. For folks who live nearby and don’t need to drive, this new Target is a great amenity that will surely make life just a little bit easier. We still wish the owners would have torn down the building and constructed something with height and density, but it seems we’ll have to wait at least until this Target runs its course. Who knows, maybe in twenty years, Whole Foods will move to the shiniest new building in the neighborhood, Target will move to the Dalian, and we’ll see something new and exciting at this location.

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Renovation For an Old Warehouse on Trenton Avenue? http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/fishtown/renovation-old-warehouse-trenton-avenue http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/fishtown/renovation-old-warehouse-trenton-avenue#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:16:52 +0000 http://www.ocfrealty.com/?post_type=naked-philly&p=447343 The post Renovation For an Old Warehouse on Trenton Avenue? appeared first on OCF Realty.

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When the factories in the River Wards made Philadelphia the Workshop of the World, Trenton Avenue had a train track running down the middle of the street to better allow for the inflow of raw goods and the outflow of completed products. Most of those factories have now gone dark, and Trenton Avenue has undergone a major transition. Many old warehouse buildings have disappeared, replaced by high end homes. But some remnants of the corridor’s industrial past remain, with the still active Jacquin’s as the most prominent example. There’s another former industrial building at 2141 E. Hagert St., which looks like it hasn’t been in active use for some time.

Better view

We actually wondered about this property a few years back, hopeful that the flow of development nearby might inspire the owners of the property to either renovate the building or sell it off. Looking at public record, it appears that the latter came true, as new owners paid $200K for the property over the summer. When we passed by the other day, we spied a dumpster out front, with some laborers doing a little interior demolition.

View on Hagert

We figured we’d see that the new owners pulled some permits to give us a sense of what’s to come, but we don’t see anything at this time. The building has roughly 2,500 sqft of space inside, so three residential units, with one per floor, would seem like the most intuitive use for the property. But we confess, we have no idea what’s gonna happen. The building isn’t listed on the Historic Register, so the owners could look to tear it down, but we’d think that adaptive reuse, for a change, would be more economical than new construction due to the small size of the property. And that’s a great thing, because the building has some excellent bones.

Sliver of the building is on the left back in 1900

Here’s to hoping that this building will get cleaned up and returned to active use in the near future. And just like we wished for a building currently under construction on West Passyunk, we hope that any renovation here doesn’t involve a paint job for the building. We’d like to see the ghost signs stick around.

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Something Coming Soon to Vacant Lot Next to Piazza? http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/northern-liberties/something-coming-soon-vacant-lot-next-piazza http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/northern-liberties/something-coming-soon-vacant-lot-next-piazza#comments Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:29:56 +0000 http://www.ocfrealty.com/?post_type=naked-philly&p=446043 The post Something Coming Soon to Vacant Lot Next to Piazza? appeared first on OCF Realty.

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As Northern Liberties continues to trend upward (in terms of prices and retail diversity), it’s a little curious that two prominent and enormous parcels remain vacant on the northern side of the neighborhood. Half a year ago, we wondered whether something might be happening with the large triangular lot bordered by Girard, 2nd Street, and Germantown Avenue, but there’s been no action there since our last visit. Today we look at the large lot at 1101 N. 2nd St., to the east of the Piazza and to the south of the Shops at Schmidt’s, a property that’s been used for surface parking for the last several years.

Overhead view

A reader reached out recently though, giving us the heads up that the lot is now completely fenced-in, putting out the roughly one hundred people that had been parking there on the regular. The reader directed our attention to a sign on the property which confirms that this is an intentional act, not some kind of miscommunication with a fencing company. Check it out:

Lot is closed up
Sign is posted
Peeking inside the fence

Like the Girard Avenue property mentioned above, this property is also owned by Tower Development, the company that developed the two major projects nearby. Almost a decade ago, Tower had plans approved to build a project called the Residences at Schmidt’s on this parcel, including a twenty-six story tower, a sixteen-story tower, and a line of residences on Germantown Avenue. Could the closing of the surface parking lot be the first step in a process that ends in that project finally coming together? Could Tower have alternate ideas about the property, with all this time having passed since the original plans came together? Or is it possible that the parking lot was never exactly legal and the owner of the property doesn’t have any immediate plans for the property but didn’t want to continue to carry the insurance risk?

Piazza, across the street

Any of these possibilities could eventually prove to be true, but we’re obviously hoping for something to happen here soon. The new management at the adjacent Piazza hasn’t exactly been hitting it out of the ballpark, as the property doesn’t have nearly the buzz it once possessed. We have to think that the redevelopment of the large property next door would give the Piazza (and its lagging retail spaces) a real shot in the arm, while providing additional amenities to the surrounding neighborhood. We also have to think that if something doesn’t happen here relatively soon, we won’t see any construction on this parcel during the current cycle, which has seen a boom in apartment construction. It would indeed be a shame if this property sits fallow over the next few years, especially if it doesn’t have the incidental community benefit of providing off-street parking in the interim.

Has anyone around the neighborhood heard any rumors of imminent construction here?

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Apartment Conversion For Old Garage on West Passyunk http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/girard-estates/apartment-conversion-old-warehouse-west-passyunk http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/girard-estates/apartment-conversion-old-warehouse-west-passyunk#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:17:38 +0000 http://www.ocfrealty.com/?post_type=naked-philly&p=446037 The post Apartment Conversion For Old Garage on West Passyunk appeared first on OCF Realty.

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It seems like, these days, every time an old auto garage changes hands, the new owners look to tear it down in favor of new construction. That’s why it’s so refreshing to share some news, for a change, about a building that was once home to a car fixin’ business that’s sticking around because of a residential conversion. Such is the case at 1705 Jackson St., which was looking pretty rough until quite recently.

In the past

This property, which you’ve more likely noticed from West Passyunk Avenue and not from Jackson Street, was an auto shop and car showroom dating back to at least the 1930s. By the 1990s, the space on the first floor was used for fabric sales, with a day care eventually taking over the space around the year 2000. In recent memory, the second floor of the building has been vacant. But not for long!

Current view
New windows
View on Jackson St.

Developers bought this property last year, and are converting that second floor into 11 apartments. With an additional unit on the ground floor, that will make an even dozen residences in the building, and according to the permits, a day care will be coming back to the retail space on the ground floor.

From the street, it looks like the building is getting an addition, but that’s just some new pilot houses which will provide roof deck access for four of the units. Also, and not for nothing, the new windows are a great improvement over the old, worn warehouse windows. We have to think that a paint job will be forthcoming, though what’s left of the old paint job does afford the building a certain degree of industrial gravitas.

Upon further consideration, and especially when we consider the ghost signs on the Jackson Street side, we hope the building doesn’t get a paint job after all. On the other hand, we’d be totally thrilled to see the metal roll down security gates disappear after all the construction wraps up. While we appreciate that they’re sometimes necessary, they look awful every time.

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Coffee Shop Planned Near Germantown & Montgomery? http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/south-kensington/coffee-shop-planned-near-germantown-montgomery http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/south-kensington/coffee-shop-planned-near-germantown-montgomery#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 20:41:44 +0000 http://www.ocfrealty.com/?post_type=naked-philly&p=444110 The post Coffee Shop Planned Near Germantown & Montgomery? appeared first on OCF Realty.

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Slowly but surely, we’re continuing to see development creep northward in South Kensington. Just the other day, for example, we told you about three homes under construction on the rarely explored 500 block of Morse Street. Today, please allow us to draw your gaze to a large vacant lot right around the corner, where something a little more significant could soon be in store.

Zoning notice

The zoning notice in the image above relates to 1812-16 Germantown Ave., properties that sit pretty much at the point that 5th Street hits Germantown Avenue. Developers bought this triple-wide property last year, but need to go to the ZBA to build what they want to build. Their plan calls for four buildings, with a trio of triplexes and a mixed-use building with a coffee shop on the ground floor and three units above. The project was continued at the ZBA last month, but we have to think it’ll be coming back soon. We don’t know that there’s much of a hardship here, at least in terms of building four buildings instead of three, so we wonder whether the developers will ultimately get their way. Even if they have to modify their plans, it seems like a safe bet that some kind of project will happen here in the near future. And then maybe the properties next door can get developed too?

Looking south on 5th Street
Looking south on Germantown

Assuming a project does indeed move forward here, the people who eventually move to this location will have at least one thing going for them, and that’s close proximity to Saint Benjamin’s Brewing Company. That’s certainly a better perk than being close to Honor Foods, also located directly to the south. That company, which distributes frozen foods and dairy products, takes up a huge amount of space (as you might expect) but provides nothing in the way of retail. We wonder, as the development continues to move northward in the neighborhood, will Honor Foods and companies like it move away, with developers redeveloping their properties into residences? This certainly seems like it’s in play, given the pace at which development has progressed in South Kensington and nearby neighborhoods.

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Space For Rent at 22nd & Christian Corner Store http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/graduate-hospital/space-rent-22nd-christian-corner-store http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/graduate-hospital/space-rent-22nd-christian-corner-store#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:33:21 +0000 http://www.ocfrealty.com/?post_type=naked-philly&p=444105 The post Space For Rent at 22nd & Christian Corner Store appeared first on OCF Realty.

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If things break right, change will soon be afoot for two corners of the 22nd & Christian intersection. We already told you before about plans to demolish the one-story building at the northeast corner and replace it with a four-story mixed-use building with a vegan pizza place on the first floor. That project went to the ZBA earlier this month, but was continued. We’re cautiously optimistic that it’ll get approved once the ZBA finally hears the case, as it got community support last month.

Current view on the NE corner
Rendering for the NE corner

The southeast corner has been home to a corner store for a long time, with the current version being its most welcoming incarnation. Turn back the clock a decade, and the building had no awnings or windows, with cigarette ads as the only signage. While the corner store might be much more inviting now, it could soon be on the outs. Looking at the image below, you can see that there’s now a ‘For Rent’ sign on the building.

Space for rent
A peek inside

Our initial theory was that the space was for rent as a turnkey business, but looking at the listing, it seems the space is available but the business doesn’t come with it. The asking price is $3,500/month, which includes roughly 1,000 sqft of space and a full unfinished basement. The ad has been posted for a couple months, so nobody has jumped at the opportunity just yet, but it could be a worthwhile spot for someone to take over. We wonder what kind of business would have success here, given the relatively small size of the space. Of course, with a new vegan pizza place across the street and neighborhood stalwart Sidecar sharing the intersection, the foot traffic will be better than most corners in the area.

Sidecar, catty corner

Considering that a corner store has been here for so long, we wonder whether it’s reasonable to expect a different kind of business in this space. Assuming a potential tenant steps forward in the coming months, we’ll get our answer soon enough.

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Homes Under Construction on Little South Kensington Block http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/south-kensington/homes-construction-little-south-kensington-block http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-philly/south-kensington/homes-construction-little-south-kensington-block#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 16:52:52 +0000 http://www.ocfrealty.com/?post_type=naked-philly&p=440598 The post Homes Under Construction on Little South Kensington Block appeared first on OCF Realty.

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We were meandering around South Kensington the other day, and as we were traveling on the 500 block of Montgomery Avenue, some construction construction caught our eye on a nearby block. This construction is taking place on the 500 block of Morse Street, a block that we bet you’d struggle to find on the map if we didn’t already tell you it was near the 500 block of Montgomery.

Obstructed view of construction

Upon closer inspection, the north side of this block was sitting largely intact, with over a dozen two-story homes. There has been, however, a large gap in the middle of the block on the north side, and that’s now being (mostly) filled in.

View on the block
From the other direction
In the past

What do you know, it’s V2 Properties, a developer that seems to be building homes all over town these days. You may recall, we told you like a week and a half ago about a twelve-home project they’re doing in Brewerytown, and this developer has most famously done a ton of new construction in South Philly, south of Pennsport. The project on Morse Street is relatively straightforward, with new homes under construction at 531, 535, and 537 Morse St., and some notable continued vacancy at 533. Unsurprisingly, that lot is owned by PHA. Maybe they’ll sell it at their next auction, eh? While they’re at it, maybe they can sell their vacant lots on the south side of the street too.

On an unrelated note, do any of the city planners out there have any insight into how streets like Morse came to exist? This street is especially interesting, as it exists for just this one block, then it comes back for half a block at 19th Street, then returns in Strawberry Mansion and again in West Philly. Does anyone know why this phenomenon happens for Morse Street and some others?

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