Well, technically next to a doctor's office

Could Pennsport be getting a new coffee place? An eagle eyed reader tipped us off that this could indeed be the case, in a former auto shop next door to Pennsport Beer Boutique. We were intrigued, so we took a trip over to 1313 S. 3rd St. to see what's up and we must confess, we were shocked by what we discovered.

View of the building from Moyamensing Ave.

Pennsport Beer Boutique and Caffe Valentino to the north

Just kidding, we found nothing shocking. We peeked through the windows of the garage doors and saw some picnic tables and what looked like a coffee roaster. Posted in the window, we discovered a permit for a prepared food shop with less than 20 seats. Looking at the Zoning Archive, we see that the applicant indicated that a coffee shop will indeed open here.

Corner has been vacant for a long while

A reader reached out the other day, having noticed a sign advertising upcoming development on a chain link fence at the southeast corner of 6th & Tasker. 1601-1605 S. 6th St. has been sitting empty for a number of years, an unexpected vacancy on a block that's otherwise filled in.

Sign on the property

Looking east on Tasker Street

But this property won't be sitting empty for long! We looked online to investigate the permits, but we came up empty. Next, we called one of the phone numbers posted on the sign and were able to connect with a realtors for the project. We learned that the developers will be building three homes here, and that the homes will have frontage on 6th Street. Given the orientation of the sign, we sort of expected that they'd front Tasker but that would only allow enough room for two homes and building three homes is almost always more profitable than just building two. We also discovered that the project is still in the design phase and will have to go to the ZBA for a variance due to the fact that the lots are under 40' deep and building by-right would create homes that are way too shallow due to open area requirements. On the plus side, each lot is 20'-wide, so despite the fact that the homes will be shallower than most even with a variance, they'll still have plenty of space inside.

Addition would mean 12 units

We don't often find ourselves on South 2nd Street outside of one day of the year, but a proposed project at 1728 S. 2nd St. drew our attention and we made our way over there last week. We couldn't tell you what this building was originally used for, but over many years it has been home to the Oregon Wench Brigade. And you can tell by the big number one posted to the side of the building that they won their division at this year's Mummers Parade.

The building

The property was put up for sale last fall, and went under agreement at a sale price of $600K after about a month on the market. The new owners of the property intend to put an addition on the building and create a pair of retail spaces on the first floor and 12 apartments above. We're sure that the renovation will involve punching some new windows in the facade, and it will hopefully involve stripping off the stucco and restoring the original brick. We reached out to the Oregon NYE Association to ask whether they'll take over one of the retail spaces or move to a new location, but unfortunately couldn't get in touch with anyone.

Still pretty much the same as before, with slight redesign

Roughly three years ago, we considered the case of 1401 S. Columbus Blvd., wondering how the site would be redeveloped after plans for a casino were officially 86-ed. Two years later, we confirmed that Tower Investments had purchased the property and Bart Blatstein was considering a plan for a shopping center, some apartment buildings, and a bunch of townhomes and stacked condos on the waterfront. If you pass by this address today though, you'll see that nothing has actually changed.

View of the site

Here's a look at the plan that we published last year, which calls out a Wawa gas station and an Aldi supermarket. We got a number of comments on the project, with some people generally in favor of the plan, and a greater number of people disappointed with the proposal.

And it's selling quickly, too

When we last visited the block bounded by 4th, 5th, Reed, and Dickinson Streets about six months ago, we noted that the demolition of the former Mount Sinai Hospital was entering its home stretch. At the same time, we were surprised to see that construction had already began for Southwark on Reed, the 95 home development replacing the hospital. Back then, the first seven homes had been framed out, with foundations in place for another row of homes. Checking in today, there's been a staggering amount of progress given the short amount of time that's passed.

View from 4th & Reed

These homes are already done

Looking down the row, from Reed Street

Thus far, fourteen homes have already been completed, with a mix of 16'-wide homes, 18'-wide homes, and 20'-wide homes. Every home in this first phase has sold and most are already occupied, with prices starting at $495K, $575K, and $630K, depending on the width. We visited the sales office and took a tour of the 20'-wide model home and came away impressed with the layout and finishes. We really should get a model home designer to come to our house someday...