Passyunk Square

Curious about how the current home happened

We've gotten the occasional question about 1108 Federal St. over the last several months, resisting the urge until now to cover the project because it's not too exciting. In short, this property is a double-wide two-story home which was listed for sale for about a year and a half before someone bought it at the end of last summer. The buyer made the purchase with an intention to subdivide the property into two homes, and permits indicate that the newly separated units will each get a third-floor addition. PSCA didn't oppose the project and the ZBA gave their approval in November. So look for this thing to happen sometime soon.

Current view of the property

As we said, the project isn't so exciting. So why do we bring it to your attention at last? We're covering the project in part because we feel like we should answer the handful of people who have reached out about it. But it also gives us an opportunity to point out the Federal Street Burial Ground, located immediately next door.

Six stories of mixed-use are planned

About half a year ago, a reader noticed a demolition notice at 1111 S. Broad St. and we told you about plans for a new mixed-use building coming soon to this location. In the time that's passed since then, the two-story building most recently home to a mechanic shop has been demolished, just as the notice predicted.

Current view on South Broad Street
Another angle of the current view

Our original story discussed a by-right five-story building for this property with ground-floor commercial, a dozen parking spots, and 42 apartments. At some point since then, the project has grown a wee bit, and will now rise six stories and include fifty-three residential units. We know this thanks to the Civic Design Review packet recently posted to the City website, a document that also includes a bunch of renderings from Harman Deutsch to give us an idea of exactly what we can expect here.

Put some meat on your bones honey!

We've mentioned a few times over the years that we lived near Pat's and Geno's back in the day, and we confess that sometimes we miss our old neighborhood. It's not the occasional smell of steak and onions that wafted to our front door that we remember fondly, but instead the convenience and variety of nearby Passyunk Avenue. For our health though, it's probably best we moved away- thanks to all the excellent dining options in the area, we found ourselves a bit too poor and a little too hefty during those halcyon days. With Essen Bakery opening at 1437 Passyunk Ave. last week, we again find ourselves lamenting the fact that we live so far away.

Essen Bakery

We visited Essen last week on their first day of business and were pleased to discover that they had sold out of many of their offerings by the late afternoon. A Jewish bakery, they offer a simple menu that includes challah, rye bread, a couple of cakes, cheesecake, rugalech, cookies, and babka. A photo on their Facebook page shows many of the items on their opening menu, which also includes coffee and tea.

Better than an overgrown lot

Gold Star Park is a gem of a little neighborhood park, with a nice run of grass, some older trees throwing off shade (in a good way) all summer, and a playground to keep the kiddies happy. But if you don't live on or around the 700 block of Wharton Street, it's quite possible you've never even heard of this patch of green space. Thanks to a recently-started residential development though, it's a sure thing that at least two more families will soon bask in the Gold Star glow.

Gold Star Park

The park is bordered by Wharton to the south, Manton to the north, Sheridan to the west, and Marshall Street to the east. And as you can see in the photo above, there are a bunch of lucky folks that live right on the park. Oddly, on Marshall Street, there's been a large vacant lot on the east side of the street for decades just north of the park. A cinderblock fence has been in the front of the property for many years, keeping the property's overgrown foliage off the sidewalk.

In the past

A reader tipped us off though, that the small forest at 1219-23 S. Marshall St. has been tamed and two new homes are now under construction.

Finally, redevelopment for this property

Yeesh, another project for Washington Avenue? Yup, here comes a third consecutive post about this major artery whose development has been mostly arrested since the factories and coal yards moved away. A reader apparently saw our story yesterday about plans for a new mixed-use building at the corner of 12th & Washington, and they were spurred to share the news that a fence has gone up at 1100 E. Passyunk Ave. (also the corner of 8th & Washington), the former Captain Jesse's Crabs. Here, check it out:

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