It's been a few months since we last checked in on the 2300 block of Alter Street in Point Breeze. Back in April, we updated you on the progress of the residential development on the block, noting that additional homes were under construction and many units had sold from the first phase of the project. At the same time, an unfortunate storage facility was rising on the north side of the street (and more prominently on the 2300 block of Washington Avenue), and we knew it would only continue to get taller as the months rolled off the calendar. Checking in today, we see, predictably, that more homes have been finished, more units have sold, and the storage facility has gotten bigger.
Row of new homes on the 2300 block
Tons of storage coming soon across the street
If we look a block to the east though, we see additional development on the 2200 block of Alter Street. We last visited this block in 2012, at which time a two-story modular building was under construction to be used as artist workspace. Seeing as it looked nothing like any other building in the neighborhood, a reader remarked that it looked like a spaceship had descended into Point Breeze. Four years later, there's still nothing like this building in the area.
A reader told us the other day about some ongoing demolition on the 2200 block of Wilder Street, giving us some inspiration to visit the block. We wrote about a seven home proposal on this block back in January, which would have entailed three homes on the south side of the street and four homes on the north side of the street. The three homes were to replace vacant homes and the four homes were to replace vacant lots. But the project hadn't yet gone to the ZBA and given the complicated nature of zoning in Point Breeze, we weren't entirely confident that the project would even happen.
With demolition now happening, it's a pretty clear sign that something is happening here.
When we last visited the 2300 block of Federal Street a few years back, we told you about some renovation activity on the south side of the block, close to 23rd Street. In the time since then, some of that work progressed to a logical conclusion, while other work sadly stalled out. It seems likely though, that any work that's now interrupted will eventually get finished. Such is the nature of development in Point Breeze these days.
South side of the 2300 block
At the time of our last visit, we also drew your attention to a former church on the northwest corner of the intersection. At the time, 1144 S. 23rd St. was seemingly sitting vacant, with L&I sealing the side door after a slew of violations. When we passed by the property over the weekend, the building was clearly getting some work done, so we figured we'd look into the situation.
Breezy's Cafe held down the space at 1200 Point Breeze Ave. for a little over two years, closing down this past spring and leaving a gap in a neighborhood that's crying out for additional dining options. Over the last few months, husband and wife pair Juan and Mallory Fix Lopez have been working on the space and making it their own. This morning, they opened the doors of On Point Bistro to introduce their new baby to the world.
The exterior looks pretty much the same as before, save a few flower boxes, but the interior has been completely redone. Gone is the cafe counter, replaced by a large bench across the back of the dining area, which has seating for about 40 people. The decor has been classed up considerably, with new hardwood floors and new tables that look like they're made out of reclaimed wood. As you might guess from the lack of a counter, the new restaurant is primarily of the sit-down variety, currently offering breakfast and lunch. They'll be offering dinner with a byob option starting next week. Here's a peek at the opening menu:
The 2000 block of Wharton Street is changing and many more changes are on the horizon. First, let's look closer to Point Breeze Avenue where we can see four new homes have been built within the last year or so. Just a couple years ago, three of these four lots were vacant and the fourth was home to a vacant two-story home. It's a bit of a different story today. Unfortunately, the vacant lot at the corner of Capitol Street is owned by a City agency so it could continue to sit empty for years to come.
Four homes close to Point Breeze Avenue
Looking to the east, we see a huge vacant lot just on the other side of Capitol Street. You may recall, this property was home to a large warehouse that housed many different businesses over the years, including stables for John Wanamaker. Clearly, the warehouse has been torn down and as we told you in the spring, the ZBA approved a 46-home development for this site. Groundbreaking is expected in the coming months.