Passyunk Square

Well if a sign says so...

We love a good development opportunity. And whenever a sign asserts such a thing, we feel it's our obligation to check it out and pass it along, unless of course it's so good that we take it ourselves. So, uh, don't let that be a spoiler alert for what follows.

From the 12th & Washington intersection, you can just about make out a 'Development Opportunity' sign to the south. The sign sits on a vacant lot near the corner of 12th & Alter.

View from Washington Avenue
Closer look

The sign isn't very specific. We didn't know whether the opportunity involved a single vacant lot or the entire block. Turns out it's neither.

For those interested, a set of four properties are now available for sale. 1116 S. 12th St. is a vacant lot that's one off the corner of 12th & Alter. 1118 S. 12th St. is the garage next door, but it doesn't include the two additional garage doors you see on the left side of the image above. 1202 and 1204 Alter St. are also part of the package, and are zoned for commercial use despite being residential-sized lots. The total asking price is $835K. As opportunities go, it's got pluses and minuses.

A taxidermist's dream!

We don't usually rush to tell you about individual listings, and it hardly ever happens for properties that aren't listed by the company that owns this site. But when a colleague passed along the listing for 1010 Tasker St. the other day, we felt compelled to blast the listing far and wide.

1010 Tasker St.
Looking west on the block

From the outside, 1010 Tasker St. looks like a normal South Philly home on a normal South Philly block. A bonus, it's less than a block from Passyunk Avenue, which actually makes it even more desirable. According to the listing, the home has three bedrooms, one full bathroom, two half bathrooms, and about 1,500 sqft of living space.

The photos from the listing, showing the inside of the house, are just amazing.

Addition too, for former garage

When we visited the 600 block of Federal Street earlier this week to find out about what's happening at the former Federal Pretzel Baking Company building, we certainly didn't expect that we'd be coming back here so quickly. Alas, the story sparked the curiosity of one of our readers, who wondered about 630 Federal St., the building immediately next door. This stucco-covered building was at one point an auto garage, but we don't think it's been used for those purposes for quite some time.

The building

The property is huge, extending all the way to Manton Street, like the former pretzel place next door. But the dimensions would not make the property attractive for demolition and redevelopment, since it's really deep at 154' but rather skinny at 48' wide.

Finally, plans for this building

Heraclitus got it right when he said that the only constant is change. In Center City, we see change all the time. Buildings rise and fall, businesses come and go, people are constantly hustling from one place to another. In some parts of South Philly, change generally comes more slowly, with lots of businesses operating for decades and some families inhabiting the same home for generations. Quick changes can meet opposition, like the addition of a green space at the Guerin Rec Center. But change does happen! Take, for example, the former Federal Pretzel Baking Company at 636 Federal St., which has been vacant since a fire closed the long-operating business several years ago.

As compared to the unimpressive plan from a few years ago

Remember the old American Ice and Coal warehouse at 9th & Washington? For years, we dreamed about someone turning this vacant monstrosity into some kind of mixed-use gem, lifting up the southern section of the Italian Market. Instead, it got demolished back in 2008 and we've had a vacant lot monstrosity ever since. Three years back, Midwood Investments presented a plan to redevelop this parcel with a one-story building with three commercial spaces and 70 underground parking spots and called it the Italian Marketplace. We panned the project, which looked like it was cribbed architecturally from Xfinity Live, mostly for lacking a residential component.

Italian Marketplace rendering

Thankfully, this project didn't get built and the intersection still looks like this:

Current view on Washington Ave.

Last night, the developers came before the community to give this corner another try. The meeting was pretty well attended.