Bella Vista

New apartment will have sooo much parking

A neighbor reached out recently, wondering about 827 Carpenter St., a one-story garage that's just steps from the hustle and bustle of the Italian Market. This property has caught their attention of late, as a two-story addition has appeared atop the building. 

New addition at 827 Carpenter St.
Perhaps the people who reached out live in one of the new Mildred Court homes

We'd imagine this building has been used historically for storage- until recently it was owned by members of the Esposito family. But moving forward, it appears it will be somebody's home. New owners bought the building at the end of last year and got approval from the ZBA to build a two-story residential addition at the property. The first floor will remain a 2000 sqft garage, providing the residents with a space to store a collection of antique cars or something like that. The layout of the addition will be quite unique, with decks to the north and south, an incredibly high ceiling for the living and dining rooms, and angled walls that should make furniture placement a challenge. On the plus side, the setback will give the neighboring buildings some room to breathe.

See what we did there?

When the Bean Exchange closed their doors last summer at 7th & Bainbridge after a nearly decade-long run, we simply assumed that another cafe would not replace it. We expected an apartment conversion, perhaps. After all, there are just so many coffee shops in the area, like Shot Tower at 6th & Christian, Bean Cafe on the 600 block of South Street, Lombard Cafe at 6th & Lombard, and probably other places that we're just not thinking of right now. But heaven knows, people love coffee shops (thankfully), and so Rally opened this week in the former Bean Exchange space.

Like Bedford Cafe, but houses. And thirteen blocks away

Bella Vista is getting some new mansions and now we know what they'll look like. Over the summer, we told you about plans for seven new homes at 711 Bainbridge St., pleased as punch that a surface parking lot would be meeting its maker as a result. 

From the summer, view on Bainbridge Street
View on 7th Street

US Construction, going for a more high-end project than we've seen previously, have retained the McCann Team to market these properties, and it seems they've collaborated on a lengthy information packet with an in-depth description of the project. This packet includes a site plan and renderings to show what we can expect.

Turns out it's not so exciting

A reader reached out the other day, wondering about the construction they've noticed on 10th Street, just south of South Street. For many years, 605 S. 10th St. was a simple brick wall with a garage door. That property has historically been connected to the adjacent home at 603 S. 10th St., providing two car parking and a second entrance to the home.

In the past

This double-wide property went on the market a couple years ago, going under contract in less than two weeks. A really nice interior, close proximity to South Street amenities like Whole Foods, and the aforementioned two-car parking were surely major selling points. But if you pass by the property today, you'll see that the brick wall and garage door now have a couple of floors above them. Our first thought was that the owners of the home split off this property, building a second home to either move into or sell off to someone else.

This is gonna be a brawl

The saga continues for a little triangular patch of land created by the intersection of Christian Street, 6th Street, and Passyunk Avenue. This property was historically home to a gas station but it's been on a roller coaster ride in recent years. About six years ago, the owner of the property allowed a group of neighbors to clean up the parcel, creating a little oasis called Triangle Park. The community was happy with the green space and it looked like the City would purchase the land to preserve the pocket park in perpetuity.

Triangle Park back in 2011

In April of 2012, the owner put up a fence around the perimeter of the property, with reports suggesting that he was unhappy that the City was taking so long to buy the land, and he wanted to keep his options open with private developers. Half a year later, we learned that the City was not willing to purchase the property without major ground testing and remediation of any contamination from the years of gas station use. By the time the following spring rolled around, the owner had torn up the entire park.