Naked Philly

It's not a sure thing yet

Back in 2011, when the Southstar Lofts project was still just a twinkle in Carl Dranoff's eye, we brought 1323-25 South St. to your attention, lamenting its blighted condition. At the time, we gave you all the details on the property, which has been owned by a gentleman named Donald Turner since 1997. The building has a 2,240 sqft footprint and probably has an interesting history, but we can't find anything about it. Sadly, today it looks pretty much the way it did when we first told you about it more than three years ago.

It's been vacant for quite some time

But just when we thought the building would never get redeveloped, it seems that it could finally return to active use. Last month, signs appeared on the building announcing a presentation at a Washington Square West Civic Association zoning meeting.

Would replace a bunch of existing buildings

Still in its early stages, an Orens Brothers proposal for a five-story 150-unit building along the north the side of the 4400 block of Chestnut would require collaboration between numerous parties. The developers are presenting plans for this project at tonight's Spruce Hill Community Association meeting.

Last month, Orens Brothers appeared at the tail end of a community zoning meeting to informally present the plans, and to gauge reactions from neighbors, according to SHCA zoning chair Barry Grossbach. For it to happen, the project would demolish vacant and occupied homes and a building that stretches from Chestnut to Ludlow Street. It would include some PRA-owned properties, according to Grossbach. It's still to be determined how the ownership agreements will work out.

An addition, plus a new building

Last fall, we told you about big plans for 412 S. 13th St., known more colloquially as Waverly Court. The building looks like it has some kind of industrial past, though we could not tell you its original purpose. Most recently, it has been home to rental apartments and the (rather excellent) restaurant Amis. Previously, a surface parking lot sat next door but now that parking lot is gone, with a building coming in its place.

Older but relevant photo of the building
Construction is moving forward

When we originally told you about the project, it looked like it would entail 37 apartment units total. Now we understand that there will be a total of 60 apartments, 11 parking spots for cars, and 13 parking spots for bikes. Not only will a six story building rise next to the existing structure, but the Waverly Court building will also get a two-story addition. We were able to snag a rendering of the project from the good people at JKR Partners.

Vacant building seeing new attention

We've covered many changes at the intersection of 19th & Catharine over the years, as we've watched two churches get torn down, with homes rising in their place. Our most recent visit to this corner was over a year ago when new owners took over a long vacant building on the northwest corner. This property has been vacant for many years, but got a new facade a couple of years ago. Also, in the back of the property, we seem to recall an ice cream shop once upon a time, but there's been no business operating there for some time.

Apartments coming in its place

The other day, a reader gave us the heads up about demolition at 1014 E. Moyamensing Ave., a former nursery on a block that's entirely residential aside from a pet store/record store a bit to the north. The building that disappeared served as a nursery/day care for twenty-five years, and before that it was a storage garage. The building was nothing special, in our opinion.

In the past
No more building

According to permits on the property, a four-story, five-unit apartment building will soon get built here. No word on whether they'll be rentals or condos, though we'd bet on rentals. The reader who told us about this situation expressed some surprise that this project was taking place on a block that's full of single-family homes and that the developers didn't have to appear before QVNA to get community approval.