Naked Philly

We'd have thought the demo would be done by now

We told you back in February that demolition at the former Mount Sinai Hospital site was wrapping up, but it seems we were getting a little bit ahead of ourselves. A couple of readers have reached out in recent weeks to let us know that construction has gotten started on the major residential project coming to this property, even though some significant vestiges of the old building remain. In case you've forgotten, this project will entail 95 new homes with parking on the blocks between 4th & 5th, Reed & Dickinson Streets. Concordia Group is the developer, and Barton Partners are the architects.

Project site plan
Rendering, view at 4th & Reed

About half a dozen homes have been framed out on 4th Street in the last few weeks.

First row of framing

But if you turn your gaze to the western end of the property, you can see that the last bit of the old hospital hasn't yet come down. It's actually a pretty dramatic sight, if you see it in person.

Now though, it's a big hole

We have a handful of memories involving 514 South St., all of which date back to a time that Dairy Queen made its home in this one-story building. By the end of its time at this address, the DQ was kinda gross, so it was no surprise to us when it went out of business. In the last few years, a couple of businesses have rotated through the space, including a bagel place and a pizza spot. Today though, the building is gone and a hole in the ground has appeared in its place. Ditto the surface parking lot next door.

A few years ago
Current view

Developer Haffey Homes bought the properties last year, and is now moving forward with a plan for a five-story mixed-use building. The property has frontage on South Street, Randolph Street and Kater Street, and covers 7,200 sqft, so it has the potential to accommodate this sizable building. The plans call for 32 one-bedroom rental apartments on the upper floors, with a retail space and 12 parking spots on the ground floor. The developer is ideally looking for a restaurant tenant for the commercial space, with 1700 sqft available on the first floor and another 1500 sqft in the basement. Harman Deutsch has done the design work.

Shocking, we know

It's a pretty safe bet that when we see new construction these days in the neighborhoods surrounding Temple, more student housing is on the way. So that was naturally our first and second guess when we spotted some new foundations and framing on 16th Street, just north of Norris.

New foundations at framing on the 2000 block of N. 16th St.

But if you look carefully at the photo above, you'll see a sign that reveals the actual nature of this project.

Sign on the site tells another story

Holy smokes, it's non-student-housing construction near Temple! Habitat for Humanity is building 21 units of affordable housing in a project they've dubbed Diamond Park. The first phase will mean 12 new homes on a large chunk of land between Page and Fontain Streets, with groundbreaking taking place last month. It appears as though all of the foundations have been poured, with two of the homes partially framed so far.

View of the first couple of homes

The second phase of this project will take place just to the north, on a large parcel at the northwest corner of 16th & Fontain. All of these lots were previously owned by City agencies or PHA.

46 new homes approved for Point Breeze

There's finally light at the end of the tunnel for 2012 Wharton St., a property we first brought to your attention in the fall of 2013. Once upon a time, a huge warehouse made sense at this location, and over the years the building was home to the Philadelphia Traction Company, John Wanamaker's stables, a budget food market, and most recently a printing press. But as the neighborhood has emerged from decades of disinvestment, and new businesses are starting to eye the Point Breeze Avenue corridor, this building and its neighbor at 2010 Wharton St. have actually harmed the neighborhood, cutting off a portion of Point Breeze from its commercial corridor.

Same folks that developed the Croydon

You may remember five years ago when we reported about the sad state of an apartment building known as The Croydon. In 2012, we enthusiastically reported that this old beauty would finally be restored and filled with residents by a partnership between Orens Brothers, Hillel Tsarfati and Kfir Binnfeld.

Finally, at the beginning of 2014, we reported that the developers were in the home stretch of the project. The building consisted of 127 one, two, and three bedroom units, with prices ranging anywhere from $850 to $1600 a month. This is actually a pretty affordable price point compared to units further east.

The (finished) Croydon, seen from the southwest

Realizing their success in this project, the Tsarfati and Binnfeld partnership are working on a new project at 4900 Spruce St., which is diagonally across from The Croydon. Currently a parking lot meant to serve the residents of The Croydon, the owners bought the property from the City in 2014 for $310K.