We keep waiting for the first domino to fall on the western side of Washington Avenue, and it now seems possible that 2501 Washington Ave. could be the first. The property is vacant today, but big things are coming. Probably.
We've covered this property a few times previously, first back in February after a preliminary community presentation. That plan included a six-story building at the corner with 79 apartments and 10K sqft of commercial space, along with a five-story 17-unit building on Grays Ferry Avenue and 17 townhomes in between. A month later, the plans had evolved after some conversations with SOSNA and near neighbors to a 60-unit building at the corner, four triplexes on Grays Ferry Avenue, and 11 homes and 4 duplexes in the middle. Since we attended the neighborhood meeting, we got a photo of the project rendering at the time, with credit to PZS Architects.
We've visited the 1400 block of Pemberton Street on a couple of occasions, most recently a little over two years ago when we checked in on 1420 and 1422 Pemberton St., two homes that were taking a really long time to reach the finish line. But the developers did finally finish these homes last year, selling both at prices above $1M. So yeah, things worked out just fine in the end.
The two homes, and another new construction home seemingly coming soon next door
Turning our gaze to the north side of the street, we see some properties that made up the final phase of the Artisan Homes project, along with a wooden fence protecting 1428-32 Kenilworth St., a seemingly vacant parcel. We know we're looking at these properties from Pemberton Street, but they actually have Kenilworth Street addresses. Moving right along.
Fence on the north side
If you take a closer look, you'll discover something that the neighbors have surely been aggravated about for years. This isn't actually a vacant lot, it's three foundations!
After what feels like an eternity of blight, the building at 1412 South St. is seemingly getting redeveloped. We last brought this building to your attention about a year and a half ago, noting that the building was available for purchase for $825K and for rent for $5K/month. We feared, however, that the high price points would cause anyone and everyone to balk. The property was taken off the market this past summer, perhaps because nobody was willing to pay those prices.
Long blighted building
We walked past the building the other day during Philly Free Streets and noticed something unexpected. There's now a sign on the building advertising a restaurant that's planning to open in the ground floor space. It will be called Yeeroh and as you might expect from the name, it will specialize in Greek food. According to the business website, it will open in exactly 92 days- impressive that they've got their timing down so precisely.
We're not usually in the business of bringing a one-off project to your attention, but for the new home at 2251 Catharine St., we decided to make an exception. And it's not because this new home was constructed on a lot that was sitting vacant for decades.
In the past
In fact, we're bringing it to your attention because it's a remarkably handsome new home that's been built in a neighborhood famous for awful residential architecture. Even if you've never heard the term "Graduate Hospital Special," you're surely familiar with the homes that were commonly built in the neighborhood over the last decade or so, with stucco-bay windows as their most prominent feature. It's clear that the developers were looking to take this particular project in a very different direction. Perhaps a good moniker for this new home is a "Graduate Hospital Exception."
Look at this place. You've gotta love the stone base, the brick work, the mansard, the lintels, the cornice, the little bay window, and the mansard. We especially appreciate that the developers bothered to continue the brick all the way to the rear of the property, given the prominence of the back yard to people coming down 23rd Street. Nice touch.