Northern Liberties

We don't know, but they're kicking the gym out of the building

When Tower Investments built the Piazza several years ago, they capped the northern end of the development with the Rialto building, a seven story commercial building with a restaurant on the ground floor. At the time we thought it was a swell idea, and we thought that commercial tenants would have major interest in taking space so close to this blossoming mixed-use project. Presently, we know of Darling's Diner on the first floor, the Training Station on the third floor, and a real estate office on the fifth floor. Tower also has offices in the building.

View from the north

Yesterday, we got an email from a reader that belongs to the gym in the Rialto, informing them that another business will be taking over the entire building. As a result, the Training Center needed to find a new home. In April, they'll be moving to a new space at 5th & Spring Garden, but they'll unfortunately be out of commission for about six weeks in between. In their place, either someone new is coming to the building or an existing tenant is expanding their footprint.

A familiar face is moving to a new space

Paesano's in Northern Liberties is on the move—only a small relocation, just next door, acutally. The Northern Liberties Neighbors Association approved plans to move the sandwich shop two doors down to a newly constructed building at 148-50 W Girard Ave., a project we first told you about over two years ago.

Current space

It was a simple and smooth proposal for the NLNA, according to Larry Freedman, zoning chair. The move will give Paesano's more space—it's basically only standup now, with a few tables out front—with room for 26 seats, and a chance to add to the menu.

Prime location next to Liberty Lands

Traipsing through Northern Liberties last week, we came upon a row of six homes that we'd never noticed before. They caught our attention not because of their unique architecture (they look boring) or because they're a new addition to the neighborhood landscape (they aren't), but because of the sign outside advertising that they're for sale. As in, all of them are for sale. Not something we see too often, we confess.

Sign we spied
Six homes in a row

The address of this property is 918-24 N. American St., though only one of the homes actually touches American Street. The rest proceed to the west, fronting the Liberty Lands playground. With no homes across the street, they surely get plenty of natural light, and we'd be remiss if we don't mention the eleven parking spots in the back. Also, who doesn't love the sounds of kids playing outside their home?

Next to a row of homes under construction

Two months ago, when we last visited New Market Street in Northern Liberties, we updated you on a couple of projects currently under construction. Since then, the three new homes under construction at the corner of New Market & Laurel have progressed some outside, and we imagine they've gotten quite a bit of work done inside in the meantime.

Recent shot

Next door, at 117 W Laurel St., the community voted to support plans for a new home designed by KJO Architecture at one of last month's Northern Liberties Neighbors Association zoning meetings. The ZBA approved the project last week. Last acquired in September 2013 for $95K, the parcel is zoned for industrial use even in the recent remapping associated with Phila2035, which sought to update zoning classifications and other details of neighborhood parcels that were long outdated.

“I was surprised when he called and I looked it up [to find it] was industrial,” said Larry Freedman, NLNA zoning chair.

Plenty of action in this area

In Northern Liberties, the blocks near the corner of 4th & Fairmount are in the midst of big changes. Last winter, we told you about the planned conversion of the former TransAtlantic Warehouse on Fairmount Avenue into 48 apartments, and a couple of weeks ago we told you about new homes under construction at 4th & Brown.

400 block of Fairmount Avenue

Now, the former Royal Bank branch at the northwest corner along with several properties along Fairmount Avenue are set for rehab. Wrapping around the corner onto N. 4th Street, there's currently a garage that stretches back to Olive Street which will be demolished and replaced with five new homes by developer Sam Weiner of IronStone.

4th & Fairmount
These will go and be replaced

“The project was pretty much by right,” said Larry Freedman, Northern Liberties Neighbors Association zoning chair.