On the southeast corner, we told you about a former launderette getting demolished back in November. We first covered this building way back in the summer of 2011, and for years it stood in dilapidated condition before it was thankfully put out of its misery. No idea what's happening there at the moment, though we've heard whispers that it's available for sale. It would certainly make a nice spot for a new home. Meanwhile, immediately next door at 2046 Federal St., a foundation appeared over the last few weeks. That will soon be a four-story triplex which we're guessing will be sold as condos. But rentals would make sense too.
About a year ago, we told you of plans from OCF Holdings to demolish a warehouse at 20th & Wharton and replace it with twenty-two homes. The plan seemed like a no-brainer, as the warehouse sits in the middle of a residential neighborhood just a block away from a commercial corridor. The property is zoned for industrial use and while this may have been extremely appropriate many decades ago, it's clearly not the way of the future. Nobody's interested in animal husbandry or a lumberyard at 20th & Wharton, we'd imagine.
Zoning map. Red is commercial, yellow and orange are residential, purple is industrial.
JKR Partners did the design work, and this is a rendering of the previously proposed project. Please note, the second warehouse that's immediately to the west is not part of the project, but the developers were cooperating to make the two proposals architecturally compatible. That proposal, for 48 homes, is currently in limbo.
A few years ago, the tide of development started flowing across Washington Avenue, and new homes appeared on blocks like Ellsworth, Federal, and Latona Streets. But there wasn't a whole lot happening south of Wharton Street, at least in the western sections of Point Breeze. More recently, we've seen a serious bump in construction south of Wharton, with many projects in the ground and some more still to come. Today we look at the 1700 block of Dickinson Street, where three homes are currently under construction and at least one more should follow soon.
Two new homes are under construction
The southeast corner of 18th & Dickinson has been vacant since at least 2007 per Google Maps, and we're guessing for many years before that as well. If you visit the corner today, you'll see two new homes under construction. Emerald Properties bought the three lots on the corner a couple of years ago and now they're redeveloping the properties. The corner lot is zoned commercial and has approvals for a first floor commercial space and an apartment above. They have an application to the ZBA to build a single-family home, but whether they get approval remains to be seen.
As community groups go, it seems Newbold Neighbors Association has all the fun ideas. Their biggest fundraiser every year takes place in the form of a neighborhood beer tour. Last spring, they added a wine tour to the docket. Count us in.
The source of the Newbold name
NNA's latest and greatest idea has a decidedly less boozy theme, but could have major implications for the neighborhood's improvement in the years to come. A few weeks back, the group announced a microgrant program designed to fund plans to improve the community. The group is currently taking applications for $500 grants for anything that people can imagine to "make the neighborhood a better place." Can we get some other community groups in on this idea?
The application demands that people really think through their proposals. Applicants must live within the group's boundaries, which go from Broad Street to 18th Street, Washington Avenue to Passyunk Avenue. The projects, which must be for public consumption, also need to occur within those boundaries. The preference is that the funding goes toward materials rather than labor. Also, the group is seeking projects that fulfill at least one, and ideally multiple goals of the organization, including "improve public safety, beautify the neighborhood, support sustainable development, promote local businesses, provide greener streets, help reach new residents, and foster smart planning and zoning."
Right behind the Nunez Corp. Meat Market, the building at 1702 Federal St. has always had a special place in our hearts. The building seemed like it was in terrible condition, but the exterior had some wonderful features that suggested an interesting past. The first floor facade was covered in little tiles, and an old rusty sign hovered above the front door. We always suspected it was once a bar, but couldn't tell you for sure.
Back in 2011
Sometime in the last couple of years, the sign disappeared. Also, the building deteriorated to the point that you could see the sky through the second floor window opening.
At some point in the last few months, the building disappeared.