Graduate Hospital

Car place and beauty salon supply shop a step in the wrong direction

Okay, we promise. This is our last post on Washington Avenue for awhile.

We keep telling you about possible game changing projects for the west side of Washington Avenue. Mixed-use buildings are planned for 16th & Washington and 24th & Washington. MSC Retail is touting the possibilities of an entertainment venue at 23rd & Washington. We've even heard rumblings about the northwest corner of Broad & Washington. These plans dovetail with the smaller bits of good news that have actually come to pass, like Kermit's Bake Shoppe, a crossfit gym, and NextFab Studios.

But it's not all peaches and cream for Washington Avenue. One particularly unfortunate item is the storage facility on the horizon for 23rd & Washington. It seems it's definitely coming, but it hasn't happened yet so there's at least some hope it won't. No such luck for two new businesses that have already opened on the 1900 block.

1900 block of Washington Ave.

In the last couple of weeks, an auto shop and a beauty supply store have opened their doors. This is possible, of course, because Washington Avenue is still zoned for industrial uses.

Could this be the project that moves Washington Avenue forward?

Last night, developers presented plans at the monthly SOSNA zoning meeting for a new building at 2401 Washington Ave., a property that today is a vacant lot. You can imagine, this kind of development would tickle us pink.

Vacant lot today, building to come?

At the meeting, representatives from Harman Deutsch talked through the project before a relatively small crowd, detailing a proposal for this oddly shaped lot. In short, the plan calls for a five-story building with 113 units, about half as many parking spaces on the first floor, and commercial space on Washington Avenue. Check out some pretty images of what's currently on the table.

Mirrors changes on the corridor

For years, the northwest corner of 17th & South was a large vacant lot. Three summers back, we told you of plans to redevelop the parcel, a project that would mean nine apartment units and a 7-11 on the first floor. It took awhile, but construction finally started moving earlier this year. And then it came to a screeching halt and the project sat, seemingly in limbo, for several months. Thankfully, construction started moving again in October or November, and much progress has been made. The building is certainly an upgrade over what we had here before, though we confess we're holding out hope that the 7-11 thing will fall through.

Construction is on track again

Across the street, it's worthwhile to mention that another project we talked about way back when is set to move forward. In May of 2013, we told you that Puentes de Salud, a non-profit that focuses on health care needs of the Latino community, was hoping to open a clinic on the southwest corner of 17th & South, in a space that's attached to an unattractive parking garage. We always kind of envisioned a bar opening there, but South Street West has gotten new drinking establishments in other locations such that near neighbors shouldn't find themselves so thirsty these days.

Circulating petitions near the property

The saga of the northeast corner of 23rd & Christian continues.

Tear down this building!

Back in the summer of 2013, the owners of this property came to the neighborhood with a plan to demolish it and construct a five-story mixed-use building with first floor retail, second floor office space, and apartments above. In the sixteen months since, the project has gone through countless iterations, at one point seemed like it wasn't going to happen at all, and finally settled in recently with a proposal for a four-story building with retail space on the first floor, eight apartments on the second and third floors, and office space on the top floor. This version was continued at the ZBA in both September and October. We don't see it back on the calendar, meaning we won't hear about it again until after New Years.

Will a school be part of the redevelopment?

Several years ago, plans came together to renovate 2101 Washington Ave., the former Frankford Chocolate Factory. In 2012, after a host of changes, the ZBA approved plans for a Campbell Thomas designed mixed-use redevelopment on the site. Since then, the owner of the site (who apparently wasn't such a great dude) passed away, and the property has sat vacant. Sporadic interior demolition work has inspired nearby residents to continue to hope for the renovation of this property, which at 100,000 sqft takes up an entire city block.

Chocolate Factory

This week, several readers have informed us that a new sign has appeared on the property. CBRE is actively marketing the building for sale. The current owners bought it less than a decade ago for $5.75M, and a Business Journal article suggests that the expected sale price is between ten and fifteen million. The sale is precipitated by a court order to liquidate Truong's assets, as he died without a will.

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