This block of 2nd Street has seen some major changes

You may recall that the other day, we told you about a tiny house planned for the 1200 block of 2nd Street which some neighbors are fighting because it'll result in the elimination of an old tree. Less than a block away from here, and slightly farther away from Federal Donuts, we noticed a building was recently demolished. 1314 S. 2nd St. was a one-story auto garage for many years, but now only some steel beams remain where it once stood.

In the past
View of the property

Developers bought the property a little over a year ago, and took it to the ZBA for a four-home development, with two homes on 2nd Street and two more on Philip Street. It looks like the ZBA denied the variance in November of last year, but then the project came back for some reason and the variance was granted this March. Does anyone have any insight into what happened here?

This would mean rejecting a plan for a home next door

Trying to get through this sweaty Monday, we hoofed it over to Federal Donuts in Pennsport to grab some sugary and doughy goodness. Sated, we walked out the door and spied an odd banner on the fence on the northwest corner of 2nd & Manton.

Northwest corner of 2nd & Manton
The banner

From a quick read of the banner, it seems that a developer is planning a home for a small lot here and that someone else is none too pleased about the idea. Thankfully, the folks opposing the project have put together a website that details the situation. We did some additional digging to help better understand the situation.

Originally an educational center, now a retirement home

A few readers have reached out to us over the years, wondering about the history of the large building at 508 Moore St., which is presently home to a retirement home called Our Mother of Good Counsel. It's a unique building for any neighborhood in Philadelphia, but it especially sticks out in this part of South Philly which is dominated by generic row homes.

Around the corner from possible bigger project

A couple years back, we told you about some demolition activity on 4th Street just south of Dickinson Square Park, where an old meeting hall was approaching its end. That building is now gone, but nothing has replaced it just yet. It's worth mentioning though, that a new duplex has been built on a nearby parcel.

New duplex on 4th Street

Around the corner, we spied some new construction on the 400 block of Watkins Street. Developers purchased 409-413 Watkins St. last year, clearly intending to redevelop the properties. Previously, this property consisted of a two vacant lots and a one-story garage. With variances in hand, the developers demoed the garage and set out to build three new homes, and the permits suggest front-loading garages. Looking at the homes though, we see windows on the first floor, not garage doors. Wonder what happened?

Remember what it looked like just a few years ago?

For one of our very first posts on Naked Philly, way back in the summer of 2011, we told you about a seemingly stalled project at 1120 S. Front St. in Pennsport. In the years prior to that story, the address was home to an auto garage and the building next door housed an importer of meats and cheeses.

Prior to 2011

By the time 2011 rolled around, the garages had been partially torn down and mostly rebuilt. At the time, the owners of the property were trying to find a new contractor to finish their building and were trying to decide whether they would lease out the building or open a restaurant themselves. They clearly still had much work to do.

Mekong River building in 2011

By the end of 2011, construction had resumed, and by the middle of 2012, Mekong River opened its doors. The building was quite a departure from the past.