Philadelphia is home to some of the most amazing architecture in America, with a rich stock of fabulous buildings scattered across the city. While we’ve got more than our share of great structures, we’ve also got some duds. Case in point, the one-story stucco building at the southeast corner of 7th & Bainbridge.
This building has housed several different businesses over the years, and we specifically remember a thrift store and a sushi place hanging out a shingle here at one point. A couple years ago, we told you that the building was available for sale or for lease, even though the sushi place was still operating out of the space. The asking price was $375K for purchase, or $3K per month in rent. Both of those numbers seemed high to us- the location is just a block off of South Street but doesn’t get nearly the same amount of foot traffic, so the rent number didn’t seem workable. As for the desired sale price, we wondered whether someone would pay that price for an 818 sqft parcel that would almost definitely need to go to the ZBA.
The property sold about a year later for $350K, closer to the asking price than we would have expected. You can see, there’s now a demolition notice posted to the building, with the new owners planning to build something new, surprisingly by right. The permits indicate that the developers will build a mixed-use building with retail on the first floor and a single apartment upstairs. We’re not sure how this building will perform financially, but we’ll be pleased to see a new building at this corner.
Speaking of new buildings, we noticed that a significant project nearby is progressing nicely. It was almost two years ago that we last told you about Bedford Estates, a seven home development around the northwest corner of 7th & Bainbridge. At that time, construction was just about to get started on this project, which called for high end homes with plenty of interior space, 3,500-4,000 sqft to be more specific. We see, two of the homes in the project are under agreement at prices exceeding $1.5M, with a third home listed for $1.55M. These prices seem pretty high, but they’re in line with some of the other mansion projects we’ve seen nearby in Bella Vista and Queen Village. This kind of makes us wonder why the new owners of the southwest corner are going for mixed-use and aren’t taking a purely residential approach.