You've probably driven, biked, or walked past the large property at 212 N. 8th St. countless times over the years, and like us, perhaps you never paid it much mind. Granted, we're generally predisposed against surface parking lots, but given the location of this property on the edges of Chinatown and Old City, adjacent to the I-676 and a couple blocks from the Ben Franklin Bridge, this one never really bugged us too much. The City, which owns the property, is apparently of the mind that this lot could be put to better use and over the summer issued an RFP to redevelop it. According to a story from Philly.com, two developers responded to the RFP and will present their proposals to the community tonight.
It was just a few months ago that we told you about Chinatown Square, the food court concept planned for 1016 Race St. in a space that was home to Shanghai Bazaar for many years. At the time, it looked as though the place needed a ton of additional work, a rough reality after it had already missed its original expected opening date of February, 2016. So we were at least a little bit surprised to learn that Chinatown Square celebrated its grand opening shortly before the first of the year. We are constantly hungry, so we figured we'd check it out.
A couple of readers have reached out in recent weeks, wondering about some recent demolition on the south side of the 900 block of Callowhill Street. The property at 900 Callowhill St. was previously populated by a collection of one-story warehouses that were used for the storage and sale of building supplies, but all of the buildings have been razed and it's now a vacant 35K sqft parcel on the Chinatown-Callowhill border.
In the past
So... what's happening here? At this point, we confess that we aren't entirely sure.
We had a hankering for some hand drawn noodles the other day so we ventured to Chinatown to visit the good people at Nan Zhou. If you've never been there, we wonder what you're waiting for.
Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle
Just a few doors down from this amazing restaurant is some major construction at 1016 Race St., a site that was home to a store called Shanghai Bazaar for many years. Over a year ago, Michael Klein shared the news that restaurateur Kenny Poon was planning a food court for this location with eight different options, some of which would be open all day and all night. At the time, the food court opening was projected for February of 2016 but clearly the operation ran into some delays. When we went by, it was clear that there was still much work to be done inside and out for this project, which will be called Chinatown Square.
It's quite possible that you never noticed the Jarvis Building at 1209-15 Vine St., but if you're fond of dance clubs you'll soon be intimately familiar with the handsome old building. The building was constructed a little over a hundred years ago, and according to Volume 24 of The Horseless Age, it was constructed for the Quaker City Cab Company. Back then, Quaker City was one of but three cab companies in Philadelphia, which stands in strong contrast to our Uber-filled modern times. The building hasn't housed cabs in some time, but it's held up pretty nicely over the years.
Renovation at the Jarvis Building
According to a story from Philly.com, a mother-son partnership from Connecticut purchased the Jarvis Building earlier this year and are now in the process of turning the first two floors into the largest dance club in Philadelphia. The project will also include two restaurants and office space on the upper floors. It's not our scene, but if the developers have half the club connections mentioned in the article, this has the potential to be a successful venture.