Earlier this week, we shared the news that plans should soon be moving forward to completely overhaul Penn's Landing, a project that will be a major coup for the Delaware waterfront. As part of that plan, we noted that the Delaware River Trail will get extended from Spring Garden Street down to Washington Avenue, ostensibly connecting to Washington Avenue Green. We were in that neck of the woods, on Delaware Avenue just south of Washington the other day, and spied a sign for Liberty on the River, a project that might never happen.
Signs for the project
Looking north, toward Washington Ave.
If it ever actually happens, this project would go down as one of the most significant in Philadelphia history, essentially creating a new neighborhood on 26 acres of waterfront property. The plans call for ten towers rising between 22 and 34 stories, about a hundred townhomes, and retail spaces and parking at the base of every tower. The project is the brainchild of K4 Associates, who retained Barton Partners to do the design work.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.