The Old English Tavern sat vacant and blighted at the corner of Taney & Poplar for many years, tempting people like us that constantly wonder about redevelopment possibilities and torturing neighbors with its deteriorating condition. The building was in poor condition, but it did have an amazing sign.
About two years ago, the building was demolished, which surely came as a relief to everyone in the neighborhood. Since then, the lot has sat vacant.
But it might not sit vacant for much longer. Today, the property will come before the ZBA with a plan for 75 apartments and 38 parking spots. The project would stretch up Taney Street, and would mean the demolition of an old beer distributor that looks like it's been maintained only a smidge better than the Old English Tavern building. Considering the size of the lot and the fact that it's been sitting blighted for many years, this plan seems like a winning idea, at least at first glance.
One source of uncertainty for us here is the ownership of the property. For many years, the property has been owned by the Graveley family, operators of a roofing company around the corner. They've allowed these properties to drag down the surrounding blocks for many years, so please forgive us if we're not perfectly confident that they'll overachieve as developers. They actually were looking to build a 150-unit project a few years back, according to a thread on Philadelphia Speaks, and many commenters didn't have such nice things to say about them.
Then again, it's possible that they've learned from their mistakes and they'll be better developers than property owners. There's also a chance that new owners have stepped in but the sale hasn't been reflected in public record. Whoever ends up building something here, it will be a big improvement over the situation for the last number of years. We'll see what the ZBA has to say.