Naked Philly

As more projects push along

The number of projects popping up in recent years on the blocks surrounding 40th & Baring has really been astounding. On Baring Street numerous apartment buildings have risen, mostly housing students, generally replacing vacant lots. Recently, a new run of construction and renovation has gotten underway in the area. A large building on the southwest corner is getting turned into a duplex. Just north of the corner on 40th Street, developers recently renovated a long-blighted row of buildings. Closer to Spring Garden Street a row of quadplexes are progressing. And on the east side of the block, a building with 22 units is very much under construction.

And there's a groundbreaking in their backyard

Another day, another handful of vacant lots by the wayside in Point Breeze. This time, we found two new homes at 2313 and 2315 Ellsworth St., both of which were formerly vacant lots. Remember, we last visited this block over the summer, covering a few other homes under construction closer to 24th Street. Developers To The Sky LLC bought the aforementioned pair last year, and they're now building single family homes here. They also bought the adjacent vacant lot, 2311 Ellsworth St., and will soon be building a third single family home there to join the two we see today. 

Two new homes have been framed

Directly behind this project there's another development that's finally moving forward. In September, we told you about plans for fourteen new homes on the 2300 block of Alter Street, and noted that an old warehouse was getting demolished. Checking back today, we see the warehouse is gone and a new hole has appeared on the block. At the bottom of the hole, we spotted footers for the first three homes in the development.

On a block you've probably never seen

The 1100 block of Emily Street is one you've probably never visited, though it's an objectively desirable block. It's a little street that runs between McKean and Snyder Streets, and it's located just a couple of blocks from the bottom of East Passyunk Avenue.

1100 block of Emily Street

Most of the houses are two-story row homes that have probably been around for more than a hundred years, though some exceptions can be found. A row of three-story homes with garages arrived on the scene in 2011, all of which sold in the low to mid-300K range. And it's tough to miss the quadruple-wide warehouse-looking building with a sign advertising its future.

Will a school be part of the redevelopment?

Several years ago, plans came together to renovate 2101 Washington Ave., the former Frankford Chocolate Factory. In 2012, after a host of changes, the ZBA approved plans for a Campbell Thomas designed mixed-use redevelopment on the site. Since then, the owner of the site (who apparently wasn't such a great dude) passed away, and the property has sat vacant. Sporadic interior demolition work has inspired nearby residents to continue to hope for the renovation of this property, which at 100,000 sqft takes up an entire city block.

Chocolate Factory

This week, several readers have informed us that a new sign has appeared on the property. CBRE is actively marketing the building for sale. The current owners bought it less than a decade ago for $5.75M, and a Business Journal article suggests that the expected sale price is between ten and fifteen million. The sale is precipitated by a court order to liquidate Truong's assets, as he died without a will.

But we don't know what's next

The other day, a reader gave us the heads up about a demolition notice at 2323 Fairmount Ave., a mixed-use building a couple of blocks from Eastern State Penitentiary. Until last year, we think, the building was home to Beehive Salon, which has since moved to the 1700 block of Fairmount Avenue. Decades ago, it contained a storefront for W.E Taber Company, whatever that was.

Back in 1947

Investors bought the building a couple of years ago for just under $500K, and got permits earlier this year to do some interior demolition and renovation work. We think the building was gutted in preparation to make a high end salon, and the demolition notice serves as notice that the facade will be replaced. The facade is no huge loss, it kind of pales in comparison to most of the older neighbors on the block. Surely there was a proper cornice here once upon a time but it's been gone for many years.