Passyunk Square

Reuse still woulda been nice

We first brought a blighted building at 1221 S. Broad St., a former armory, to your attention back in the summer of 2011, when plans to build a four-story mixed-use building threatened to cover a mural of what looked like a zombified Frank Sinatra. The old armory was constructed in the 1880s, and sat mostly vacant in recent years, slowly deteriorating inside.

Project has taken years

We first visited the 10th & Cross intersection in early 2012, and showed you 1526 S. 10th St., a one-story building that once housed a corner business. Remember, it was a pickup location for neighborhood paperboys at one point and a corner store before that. But that was decades ago. In recent years, it looked like it was was used as an apartment. When we visited, the building had a tarp on the roof and plans for an addition.

A few years ago

For whatever reason, the project took a couple of years to get off the ground. We checked back at the end of 2013, and framing was finally taking place. When we passed by earlier this week, we discovered a project that looks to be finished, at least on the outside. There's no question it's an improvement- the front doors at the corner would be appropriate at King's Landing.

Row of homes could start soon

Arson is the suspected cause of a fire that scorched a warehouse at 1403-09 Darien St. in Passyunk Square this winter, displacing a few Philadelphia bands and destroying some expensive music equipment.

East side of Darien St.

A few months before the fire, we wrote about developers' plans to demolish the warehouse and build six new garage-front homes here. The Passyunk Square Civic Association supported the project. But when we passed by last week, the burned-out facade of the warehouse was still standing. The developers got their zoning permits over the summer, and we'd wager that construction will get underway sometime soon. As you can see, the new homes, from FUSA Designs, will have some colorful bay windows.

Dresses up the playground near Pat's and Geno's

Capitolo Playground in Passyunk Square, is one of our favorite neighborhood parks in town, even though it was built atop a former cemetery. Now, the completion of a new mural on the playground building is a testament to one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the city. It's also one of two beautification projects planned in the neighborhood right now, with plans for another mural at 10th & Washington this winter. The mural features a collection of diverse faces, young and old, as though you were simply walking down the street in this neighborhood. That the faces have been painted on the wall, larger than life, might remind us to the simple beauty of anyone's face, the marvel that we’re even here to begin with.

Do it and build some mixed use!

Do you lie sleeplessly in bed at night, just wishing you owned a chunk of Washington Avenue? Do you fantasize about being catalyst that unplugs the dam and sets off the chain reaction that redevelops all of Washington Avenue with a mix of residential and commercial uses? Do you just think about owning a property next to a car wash and around the corner from Nam Phuong?

If any of the above resonates with you, 1200 Washington Ave. might be just what the doctor ordered. It's currently on the market for $1.2M.

View from Washington Ave.
View from Alter Street

The property has eighty feet of frontage on Washington Avenue, and measures over 10,000 sqft. Unlike many parcels on Washington Avenue, it's zoned commercial and not industrial, which permits a mix of commercial and residential by right. The sellers it seems, have mocked up a potential plan for the parcel, and included it with the listing.