Replacing old homes and a huge empty lot

Just yesterday, we shared the wonderful news that the long vacant W.G Schweiker building on the 2600 block of Jefferson Street has a new owner and that renovation could be on the horizon for this fantastic building. When we snapped our photos of the building, we noticed some ongoing construction activity on the block, but figured we'd come back to it after the fact, to not take focus away from the main thrust of our story. Today is a new day, so here we go:

Looking east on the 2600 block of Jefferson

From right to left, 2635 Jefferson St. is vacant and not under construction. Since it's owned by PHA, it's hard to say when or if something will happen with this property. 2637 Jefferson St. is also sitting vacant, and has a bunch of violations on the property. It's been owned by the same person since 1927, but we'd think it will change hands soon via the Sheriff, as the liens catch up with it. 2639 Jefferson St. is owned by a developer who tore down the vacant home that had been here. The property is zoned multi-family, so a duplex seems like a reasonable thing to expect in the future.

New owners closed on the property last month

The W.G. Schweiker building is one of our favorite buildings in town, even though it's been sitting blighted and vacant for as long as we can remember. According to @mal19104 on Instagram, the building dates back to the turn of the 20th century, and once housed a roofing and construction business that specialized in skylights, cornices, heaters, and ranges. At least that's what the building itself advertises. The Schweiker business is now long gone, but the building and its amazing bones remain.

View of the building

We first brought the building to your attention in the summer of 2011, noting that the 5,200 sqft building was listed for sale for $80K. At the time, we suggested that this seemed like a rather high asking price given the location and the condition of the building. About a year later, MM Partners came forward to purchase the property (for less than $80K) with plans to renovate the building into artist live/work space, and even started interior demolition efforts. But the project never made it past that point, and the image you see above was captured just last week.

Six unit building planned, assuming they get approval

Toward the end of last year, we visited the 2400 block of W. Thompson St. to tell you about a property on the block that was listed for sale. We believed that 2414 W. Thompson St. was a little overpriced at $125K but suggested that the block had potential and a buyer could find value as the area appreciates. Perhaps inspired by our story, a buyer came forward for the property and purchased it last month for $100K. We don't see any permits yet, but we assume a rehab will be forthcoming.

Looking toward the recently purchased 2414 W. Thompson Street

Not only were we correct that someone would buy the property at a slightly lower price, we were also on point about the potential for the block. If you visit, you'll notice some zoning notices posted to the fence in front of 2428 and 2430 W. Thompson St., both of which are sitting vacant. We should note that 2426 W. Thompson St. is also vacant but isn't included in this project.

For the better, we'd thinkas

If we're being honest, we'll admit that the 1400 block of N. 28th Street isn't one of the best in Philadelphia. The west side of the block is actually in pretty good shape, with a row of mostly intact, mostly occupied two story homes. The east side is a bit of a different story though, with a smattering of three story homes mixed in with a bunch of vacant land. But things are changing quickly on this block, with two fistfulls (fists full?) of homes on the immediate horizon.

Current view on the east side

Most of the new construction on this block is coming from Argo Property Group, a developer that we've covered previously in Brewerytown. Recently, we covered their project on the 1200 block of N. 27th Street, where they're currently building a duplex, a triplex, and a pair of six unit buildings. On 28th Street, they're going in a different direction, opting for nine single family homes on non-contiguous lots. They're calling the project Brewers Mill Townhomes, and they've already started construction on the first few homes. 

Project is approved, construction starting

A reader tipped us off recently that work is getting started on a project that will breathe new life into a currently unappealing warehouse on the southeast corner of 28th & Cambridge. We actually told you about this project a little over a year ago, right before it came before the community. The project apparently found favor, as it got approved by the ZBA a few weeks later. Checking in on the building today, we see only small signs that construction has gotten underway, like the presence of a construction fence and a hole punched in a former window openening. But we do see they got their first building permit last month, so construction efforts should soon grow much more apparent.