We lived around the corner from Pat's and Geno's about a decade ago, and occasionally found ourselves on the 700 block of Latona Street.
700 block of Latona Street
Every time we walked that block, we wondered about the unusual 706-724 Latona St., a property we jokingly referred to as "the compound." It's like nothing you'll see anywhere else in town, with a mere three homes and a staggering amount of open space behind a metal gate. A zen garden takes up about half of the property, and it includes an actual koi pond, with fish swimming around having a grand old time. The rest of the space is paved, providing easy parking for the residents.
We were walking down Tasker Street shortly after polishing off a delicious slice from Francoluigi's when a rather massive structure caught our eye on the 1500 block of Camac Street. This block seemed oddly familiar, and then we realized that we'd covered this project back when it was first proposed in the beginning of 2014. At that time, snow was on the ground and 1536 Camac St. was an unimpressive one-story garage.
A couple years ago
Back in 2014, we told you that the Forte Development Group bought the property the year before and presented plans for a two-story addition with two apartments and parking to the Passyunk Square Civic Association, getting a vote of non-opposition. At the time, we made a point to mention that the project would stray from the two-story homes found on the rest of the block. Boy, we weren't kidding.
Back when we lived in South Philly, the 1200 block of Peters Street had quite a reputation. You probably wouldn't expect tales of drugs and violence for this little block just below Washington Avenue, but that's what we were hearing less than a decade ago. Fast forward to today and we don't live in the neighborhood anymore, but we're pretty sure that Peters Street has calmed down quite a bit and we can tell you that it's seen a little development in recent years. Back in 2013, for example, developers built a new home at the corner of 12th & Peters.
Corner of 12th & Peters
Looking down the block, you can see it's generally dominated by two-story homes, though a handful of three-story homes and vacant lots dot the block.
We last checked in on the 12th & Washington intersection in March, when it looked like this:
The view back in March
At the time, we told you that developers had purchased the property at the southwest corner and were moving forward with a plan to demolish the building on the site and build a five-story mixed-use building with 48 apartment units and 15 parking spots. We noted that the project would be built entirely by-right, and the community would therefore not have a seat at the table in discussing this plan. We're generally in favor of neighbors and community groups being involved in major projects, but given the zoning appeals faced by numerous Washington Avenue projects on the other side of Broad Street, we're just happy to see something get built on this potential-laden street. It's worth noting, for the record, that all of those appeals are from individuals and not community groups. Five months ago, keeping the by-right thing in mind, we said that "this thing will likely get built and fairly quickly, and the projects on the other side of Broad Street could continue to languish for the foreseeable future." Man do we ever love being right, at least about the first part.
About a week ago, a reader sent us an image a huge crane blocking traffic at 12th & Washington. It was at that time that we realized that this project would be built using modular construction. For those unfamiliar, this means that the bulk of the building is constructed in "modules" in a factory and then delivered and assembled at the site. Hence the crane.