Are Market Rate Homes Possible at Cambria & Trenton?

There's a vacant lot at the intersection of E. Cambria Street and Trenton Avenue which doesn't seem like the poster child for market rate development. This property sits on the fringe of Port Richmond, a neighborhood that seeing developer interest trickle over from Fishtown. But it's also on the edge of Harrowgate, a neighborhood that's been severely depressed for decades and has seen little in terms of development during the current cycle. Sure, there's a [...]
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Shirt Corner Will Rise From the Ashes of Suit Corner

Suit Corner held down the southwest corner of 3rd & Market for way longer than we can remember, selling sometimes garish suits at always reasonable prices. Shirt Corner, a similar store which we believe was owned by a member of the same family, had a similarly long run on the northeast corner of this intersection. A fire in 2014 moved Suit Corner to a new location a few blocks away, and Alterra Properties bought the building on [...]
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Construction At Various Stages on Former Saint Joseph’s Hospital Parking Lot

Saint Joseph's Hospital used the north side of the 1600 block of Cambridge Street as a surface parking lot for a long time, and it was no big deal. The hospital needed the parking and Francisville wasn't exactly a development hotbed. Times have changed though, on both accounts. With parent company NPHS dealing with financial issues that ultimately resulted in bankruptcy, the hospital closed its doors last year, thus making the surface lots rather superfluous. And [...]
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Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down For Unusual Home on 10th Street?

A number of factors conspire to make the 1300 block of S. 10th St. unlike other residential blocks in South Philly. Most noticeably, it flows, at its southern end, into a six point intersection of 10th Street, Passyunk Avenue, and Reed Street, which means it gets much more car and foot traffic than the average block. It's also got more than its share of commercial activity, with a bar and a small market at the end [...]
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Spring Garden School Rehab Looks Terrific

Despite being added to the National Historic Register in 1986, the former Spring Garden School, located at 843 N. 12th St., has been sitting blighted and vacant for decades, a white elephant in the middle of the Richard Allen Homes PHA development. We first pondered this building back in 2012, wondering whether market rate adaptive reuse would be possible at this location, and recognizing that affordable housing would ultimately be the most likely outcome. We frankly didn't [...]
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Popular Parking Lot Closes on Spring Garden Street

A reader tipped us off that the parking lot at 1314 Spring Garden St. closed down recently, as we confess, we were caught by surprise. You can see, this parking lot got plenty of use when it was operational, and it seems strange that the owners would shut it down. Overhead view from when the lot was operating Alas, now the parking lot is sitting empty and unloved. Empty parking lot You'll notice, there's a [...]
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Church To Apartment Project in Fishtown Will Include Some Historic Preservation

All too often these days, churches are finding it impossible or impractical to continue to operate out of buildings they've enjoyed for decades. The reasons for this phenomenon are myriad, including contracting congregations, congregants that have moved away and have to travel to attend services, parking challenges, and building maintenance issues, to name a few. All of these issues are especially pronounced in gentrified and gentrifying neighborhoods, with the added factor of valuable real estate as part of [...]
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Apartment Building in the Works on an Ugly Spring Garden Corner

The 900 block of Spring Garden Street is really odd. It's home to Roy Pitz Barrel House, Sazon, and W/N W/N, three quality restaurants, and also a gun range. The block is bisected by the tail end of the Reading viaduct, and the former Spring Garden Station sits vacant and blighted on its northern side. It never occurred to us that there would be a viable parcel on the south side of the block, to the east of [...]
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Developers Present Initial Plan to Redevelop Chocolate Factory

The Frankford Chocolate Factory at 2101 Washington Ave. is proof positive that even a neighborhood with homes selling for seven figures can enjoy the occasional white elephant. This building has a fascinating recent history, but has sat vacant for over a decade, leaving neighbors wondering if and when it will finally get redeveloped. The current owners bought the property for $7.8M about two years ago, and once that purchase went through, we figured that a project would soon [...]
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New Park Underway Next to 30th Street Station

It was about a year and a half ago that we told you about Schuylkill Yards, a massive development endeavor from Drexel and Brandywine Realty Trust on the blocks surrounding 30th Street Station. How could you forget, it's the post where we introduced the Dutch concept of “woonerf,” which is a space where pedestrians, bicycles, and slow moving vehicles all function together successfully. A woonerf is envisioned for the 3000 block of JFK Blvd., currently known as the block [...]
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