From groundbreaking to certificate of occupancy, it usually takes about six months, give or take, to build a new home in Philadelphia. If the home is really large, perhaps it will take a little more time, and this makes sense. More house should mean more time is needed for construction. But we're talking an extra month or two here, not years. Perhaps when the size of a home reaches a certain point tough, that timeline extends dramatically. Or at least that could be one explanation for the incredibly drawn-out timeline for two homes at 1413-21 Bainbridge St., perhaps the largest we've seen get built in all our time writing Naked Philly.
We first covered this property at the end of 2012, shortly after groundbreaking. A large auto garage was located here for who knows how many years and might have made for an interesting reuse, but it's entirely too late for that thought at this point.
A few people have reached out of late, wondering about the new building that's recently arrived on the southwest corner of 17th & Fitzwater, next door to the Marian Anderson Rec Center. Just looking at it, you can easily see it's not a new home. For many years, this space was occupied by a playground along with batting cages associated with the adjacent baseball field. What's coming soon will be a big improvement.
View in the past
Recent view of the new building
It was back in 2010 that the Philadelphia Phillies announced plans for an Urban Youth Academy, with an outdoor location in FDR Park and an indoor facility at 17th & Fitzwater. When people heard about this, they were really excited. And when it didn't happen for several years, they were mostly confused and disappointed. And many (like us) forgot it was even a thing.
Does anyone out there remember what the 1000 block of S. 17th Street (that's 17th Street just below Carpenter) looked like ten years ago? We do, but for those that weren't paying attention, here's a look thanks to the magic of the Google Maps Time Machine function.
Looking down 17th St. back in 2007
So yeah, that's pretty terrible. This block had exactly two occupied buildings, four vacant and blighted structures, and a whole mess of vacant land. Within a year or two, the vacant buildings got demoed, which made the block much less creepy but added to the number of vacant lots on the block.
So we were understandably excited back in 2011 when plans for Carpenter Square first surfaced and we learned that the eastern side of this block would be fully developed. We've tracked the construction of this project over the years, through two phases of residential construction and finally a mixed-use building at the corner of 17th & Carpenter. That building, and the courtyard in front of it, now look to be ready for action and word has it that a couple of businesses are currently in the mix for the space.
As the weather warms up (today notwithstanding) and the trees bloom, green space is getting more and more use around town. It's quite possible that people who hadn't visited Julian Abele Park for a few months and found themselves back there recently were surprised to discover 2132 Montrose St., one of the buildings adjacent to the park, getting demolished. Of course, had they read our story from last September, they'd have seen it coming a mile, or at least seven months, away.