East Passyunk

Tear it down and build a house or make it a loft

We're always on the lookout for interesting development opportunities around town. And while a lone garage on the corner of 7th & Fernon isn't as exciting as, say, the Frankford Chocolate Factory, it could still represent an interesting property for the right person.

The building

Heading to Center City from Souh Philly the other day, we came upon 1613 S. 7th St., whose owners opted for an ominous spray paint sign to deter people from blocking their driveway. The property is 16' wide by 64' deep, and the building currently covers the entire parcel, as you can see above. The block of Fernon Street is all two-story homes, and up 7th Street is a mix of three story homes and a smattering of retail.

Looking up 7th Street

The property is listed for just under $180K at the moment, which seems a little high for a wide open garage in South Philly. A developer could come forward and demolish the garage and build a new home on the corner. The listing suggests that it could also be a fit for artists looking for loft space. Alternately and perhaps least optimally, the space could remain as is and store food trucks or something like that.

New restaurant coming soon, new building sometime later

Our last official visit to the corner(s) of 12th & Morris & Passyunk came back in July. We say that because we've unofficially visited several times since, enjoying tasty food and beverage at Cantina and Birra. Soon enough, those places will have some company. Remember, El Zarape left their space at the beginning of this year because of escalating rent, and the guys from Cheu Noodle Bar will be opening a place called Bing Bing Dim Sum. According to Michael Klein, they're looking to open their doors in January.

On a block you've probably never seen

The 1100 block of Emily Street is one you've probably never visited, though it's an objectively desirable block. It's a little street that runs between McKean and Snyder Streets, and it's located just a couple of blocks from the bottom of East Passyunk Avenue.

1100 block of Emily Street

Most of the houses are two-story row homes that have probably been around for more than a hundred years, though some exceptions can be found. A row of three-story homes with garages arrived on the scene in 2011, all of which sold in the low to mid-300K range. And it's tough to miss the quadruple-wide warehouse-looking building with a sign advertising its future.

Uh, maybe?

Earlier this century, builders constructed some truly impressive buildings on South Broad Street. Many have since been demolished, but those that remain are a testament to another age. Take, for example, the former bank building on the northeast corner of Broad & Snyder. A couple of years ago, Beneficial Bank sold the property to developers. Interestingly, it was the Beneficial Saving Fund Society, a previous iteration of the bank, that built the building in 1927. It's amazing to think that the same company occupied the space for 85 years.

One has been vacant a long time

The 1800 block of E. Passyunk Ave. is seeing some action of late, and there's still room for more. At 1805-09 E. Passyunk Ave., the Saint Jude Shop closed its doors last summer and has sat empty for about a year. When we passed by earlier today though, we spied brown paper in the windows signifying a possible new tenant. According to a Passyunk Post story from last month, early intelligence says that a dance studio will be taking over the space, and there will be a retail element as well. 

Former Saint Jude shop

Just down the street, Chhaya Cafe, neighborhood treasure and maker of tasty waffles, has moved to a new and larger location. This move shouldn't make things too tough for their regular customers, as they've moved two doors down to 1819 E. Passyunk Ave., formerly home to a store called Sweet Alyssa. Though there isn't elaborate ironwork outside anymore, the new space is much roomier than their previous spot and can only mean good things for business moving forward. Gotta love all that frontage.