Chinatown

Almost a decade ago, plans were tossed around to convert 1106-14 Spring Garden St., more commonly referred to as the Lawsonia building, into six condos, in a project that was to be called "The Sydney" Why didn't the project happen? Why were they going to call it "The Sydney?" Who honestly thought that condos on this block of Spring Garden Street were a good idea back then?

Whatever the answers are to those questions, the project didn't happen. Now, it looks like something is finally on the way here, and it's a much more appropriate project given the location.

Lawsonia building

Last week, developers presented a project to the Callowhill Neighborhood Association to create forty apartment units here, with eighteen parking spots. Based on our reading of the plans, the existing facade will be maintained, with a commercial space of about 9,000 sqft on the first floor. A three story addition will rise above the current building, providing each floor with six 1-bedroom units, two 2-bedroom units, and two 3-bedroom units. The fifth floor units will all have rooftop decks, accessible from inside the apartments. Almost all of the parking will be located underground.

Seeking a salve for our wounds after a disappointing Eagles loss, we found ourselves in Chinatown yesterday, on a quest for some hand-drawn noodle deliciousness. We certainly don't regret our choice of culinary destination, but we do question what made us think that driving there would be a good idea. As anyone who's visited the area around dinnertime can attest, parking can be quite a task.

On the plus side, the seemingly endless circling allowed us to stumble upon a new building that's under construction on one of the neighborhood's narrower streets. For years, 1020-26 Cherry St. was a surface parking lot. Now, it's a fully framed out five-story building.

In the past
Current view

Our original suspicion was that this building was for residential purposes. After all, it certainly looks like

an apartment building, no?

Yesterday, we brought some optimism for the future of a moderately terrifying parking garage at 8th & Arch. Coincidentally, today we have some new information to pass along about a project that should soon rise on a long-vacant lot pretty much next door to this garage. Back in October, we told you about plans to build a nine-story building at 810 Arch St. with 112 apartments, along with offices, lounges, community rooms, an exercise room, and thirty-eight bike spaces. But that was all we knew about the project at the time.

We spotted a zoning notice a couple of weeks ago on a ho-hum building near the corner of 12th & Vine, but (as you might expect) were speeding by too fast to take a closer look. A few days later, we remembered to check the L&I Map and discovered that the owners of the property have plans to rehab it in the near future.

The white building

According to the zoning application, developers intend to construct a two story addition in the rear of the property, build out three apartments upstairs, and have a vacant commercial space on the first floor. Hopefully, the work will also include some work on the building's facade, which could use a little love. It seems there are no concrete plans as of yet for the commercial space, though we wonder whether any sort of retail operation could find success here. The block isn't exactly what you'd call pedestrian friendly.

The Drunk Tank. If you’ve ever consumed what others may consider to be too much alcohol and gotten mixed up one way or another with the police, you might have ended up there. In Philly, it’s known as The Roundhouse, located at 700 Race St.

The Roundhouse

This year, the building is listed on the Preservation Alliances Endangered Properties list. When the Philadelphia Police move their headquarters to another building on the list from years prior, the Provident Mutual building at 46th and Market, a move that is expected to take a few years, the Roundhouse will be left unoccupied.

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