Graduate Hospital

Not just yet

The building on the northeast corner of 23rd & Christian has had a death sentence floating above it for over a year. The property, which was home to an auto supply shop back in the day, currently houses a small grocery store and offices for the Senior Resource Group, an insurance business. Early last year, the principals of the Senior Resource Group purchased the property with the intention of demolishing the building and replacing it with a five-story mixed-use structure. Plans were for first floor retail space, second floor office space, and seven apartments above. When those plans were presented to the community, a bunch of people were opposed to the height, the lack of parking, and the look of the building, designed by Harman Deutsch.

Drinking plus a good cause sounds fun to us

Bloktoberfest cannot be stopped, or even contained. And it certainly isn't going to be thrown off by a little drizzle.

For those unaware, Bloktoberfest is a massive block party on South Street West featuring live music, beer, food from both trucks and businesses, a kids area, and a bunch of hay bales, if memory serves. Unlike the typical block party, Bloktoberfest is a carefully orchestrated fundraising bonanza that injects tens of thousands of dollars into the local community. Thats's right folks, drinking with a greater purpose than simple intoxication. What a concept!

Map of Bloktoberfest
Expect crowds

Bloktoberfest runs on Saturday October 11th from noon til 8pm.

Again, we would preferred more density

A vacant lot at Broad & Fitzwater has had some ups and downs in the last couple of years. In early 2013, we told you that the folks who built the Artisan Homes on Bainbridge Street would be developing the parcel, building eight huge homes that would be listed at $1.6M. As the calendar flipped to 2014, we learned that the project wouldn't be happening after all, and that the 11K sqft parcel was on the market for $6M. When we passed by this intersection earlier this week, a sign on the site suggested that a new and exciting plan had emerged for the parcel- eight luxury homes. We're thinking it's a different developer this time.

Current view
Low-res project rendering

A sign led us to a website for the project, dubbed Mona Lisa's on the Avenue of the Arts. The eight homes will have 4 bedrooms over 4,500 sqft of living space, two-car garages, and ultra high-end finishes. Prices start at $1.35M, making them much more affordable than the previously planned $1.6M homes.

Duplex coming in its place

Though the Graduate Hospital neighborhood around it has changed dramatically over the years, Robert's Twi-Lite Lounge at 20th & Bainbridge has remained more or less the same. The bar doesn't look like much from the outside, but it's a pretty solid neighborhood dive bar. And as far as we know it's finally settled into a mostly peaceful relationship with near neighbors after some friction in the past.

Twi-light Lounge, blight next door

Next door, you can see there's a vacant and blighted building. It's been on the market for a few years and actually almost sold at some point but the sale fell through. About a year ago though, developers bought it for a whopping $270K. Recently, a reader tipped us off that the building will soon be demolished and replaced with a duplex. We have to think, considering the purchase price, these are gonna be condos. It will take a special kind of buyers that want to live right next door to a bar, but we still imagine that they'll turn up. 

Gosh it's taken awhile

Fifteen years ago, the Graduate Hospital neighborhood was home to over a thousand vacant properties. In the years since, all but a small handful have been renovated by developers or simply demolished and replaced by new construction. It was a little less than a year ago that we brought one of the few vacant properties in the neighborhood to your attention, the long blighted 923 S. 23rd St.

Last year

Last October, we shared the good news that developers had purchased the property, which had been cited (appropriately) with Doors & Windows violations, and there were plans to demolish what was left of the building and replace it with a duplex. This surely came as fabulous news to near neighbors who have had to deal with a backless house on their block for many years. The previous owners, in a failed renovation project, tore down the back wall and stopped work soon after. But despite the apparent efforts from the new owners to start work on the property, nothing seemed to be happening. Until recently.

Current shot

In July, the owners finally got their demolition permits to tear down this eyesore. And that's just what they did, making the front of the property match the back. Look for construction to get going soon on a project that we would still wager will include condos. Not that rentals versus condos means much to the neighbors- we just imagine they're happy to finally see a positive change at this property. It's about time.