We last visited the 26th & Poplar intersection about a year ago, when we told you that construction was getting started on the northeast corner on a pair of mixed-use buildings with a combined 12 units and 3 retail spaces. We were thrilled that the property was getting redeveloped, but were a little bummed about the nature of the project. A couple years prior, we’d heard about plans to redevelop an old industrial building at this corner, which would have made for a very cool project. Alas, it got torn down in the summer of 2015 and the building that’s appeared in its place doesn’t hold a candle.
See what we mean? Hey, we get it. Demolition and new construction a much cleaner approach, compared to adaptive reuse. But if you look at the building that got torn down, it could have theoretically accommodated an additional story or two and had the potential to be an incredible interesting edifice. Instead, we’ve got something that looks like it would fit in nicely near Temple’s campus, and we don’t mean that in a good way.
Meanwhile, if we turn our attention to the northwest corner, we’ve got some news that’s potentially a cause for celebration. Or maybe not. This parcel has been sitting mostly vacant for many years, becoming entirely vacant when the Old English Tavern and its amazing sign got demolished back in 2014. In early 2016, we told you about a plan to build a new apartment building here, with 75 units and 38 parking spaces. That plan was withdrawn last September, and the parcel has continued to sit vacant.
The October newsletter from Fairmount Civic Association indicates that the property will be coming back to the community at a meeting next month. The agenda didn’t fully describe the project, but it seems that we can expect a number of town homes, and each home will have a parking spot. We would have preferred the previous proposal for this property, as additional density would only help things continue to improve nearby on Girard Avenue. Perhaps the community nixed the plan? We don’t know for sure, as we didn’t attend the meetings for the property the last time around.
When we last covered this property, a commenter indicated that MM Partners was involved with the project, which was news to us. According to public record, the property is still owned by members of the Graveley family, the same people that have owned the parcel for decades. They previously planned a 150-unit project here which never came to fruition, and now the 75-unit project is also dead. We wonder, will the newest iteration finally move forward? Or will we be disappointed after getting our hopes up again?