Graduate Hospital

Vacant building seeing new attention

We've covered many changes at the intersection of 19th & Catharine over the years, as we've watched two churches get torn down, with homes rising in their place. Our most recent visit to this corner was over a year ago when new owners took over a long vacant building on the northwest corner. This property has been vacant for many years, but got a new facade a couple of years ago. Also, in the back of the property, we seem to recall an ice cream shop once upon a time, but there's been no business operating there for some time.

Homes will replace vacant lots

A couple of vacant lots are set to fade away on the 1700 block of Carpenter Street in favor of three new homes. One lot, 1717 Carpenter St., will get a single home. The adjacent lot, 1719 Carpenter St., stretches all the way to Montrose and will get a pair of homes, with one fronting Carpenter and the other fronting Montrose Street. Developers appeared before the SOSNA zoning committee a few months back, and recently got their approvals from the ZBA.

The two lots in question

Each of the homes will have a front loading garage. This is no big deal on Montrose Street, where no street parking spaces will be lost. Some would lament the loss of parking spots on Carpenter Street, but looking at the homes next door there's a clear precedent for garages on the block. Also like the homes immmediately to the east, the new homes, designed by Lance R. Kraemer Associates, will also look different from the others nearby.

Another addition for the growing corridor

Typically, we find out our real estate news from reader tips, careful examination of the zoning calendar, and often hilarious community meetings. It's not so often that we literally stumble upon a project just walking down the street. But that's just what happened the other day when we passed by 2004 South St. and spied a new awning and sign.

Corner of 20th & South
New store opening tomorrow

As you can see, there's currently a dry cleaners at the corner and a shop next door that repairs shoes, sharpens knives, and replaces watch batteries among other things. In the space immediately to the west, Unique Bouquet Cafe is planning on officially opening their doors on Tuesday. From what we understand, this cafe will offer salads, soups, sandwiches, and smoothies while offering large fruit trays as well. The space will, we imagine, be mostly for takeout, as we only noticed two tables inside.

Bad news for a great Washington Avenue project

Oh how our hearts weep for the project at 1601 Washington. For those who are unfamiliar, 1601 Washington Ave. is currently a vacant lot that sits in front of the Big 8 Supermarket. Last year, developers came forward with a plan to build a five story building on the lot with thirty-five apartments and a large corner commercial space. The project went through the ringer, with a zoning hearing that lasted over three hours (we were there), and considerable hand wringing before the Planning Commission offered their support. But finally, last February, the project got approval from the ZBA and seemed like it was on the path to construction.

At least make 'em an offer

In recent years, South Street West has experienced a major rebirth. New businesses have appeared, as if out of thin air. And vacant lots have disappeared, with mixed-use buildings bringing new commercial spaces and potential customers to the corridor. Even the Royal Theater, South Street West's long vacant jewel, could soon come back to life in dramatic fashion. But the corridor still has some more growing to do and some remaining kinks to work out. 1412 South St. is one such kink, a building that's been obviously vacant for as long as we can remember.

Long vacant property

On one side of the building is a surface parking lot that will surely get redeveloped (at the expense of a sweet mural) at some point in the future. On its other side is a pizza joint, New Tower Pizzeria. Remember, last winter we told you that Govinda's was opening a vegan pizza shop next door to New Tower (to the east), but we haven't seen or heard anything about it since. But we digress. Please note that the vacant building in the photo above has a sale sign on it!