Point Breeze

Does anyone know what it once held?

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.

Last summer

At some point in the last few months, the building disappeared.

This seems like another missed opportunity

While discussions slowly percolate on the future of Washington Avenue, the present continues to change. Tonight at 6pm at CAPA the second public meeting will take place to discuss the Phila2035 South District Plan, a planning document which we understand will include the remapping of both sides of Washington Avenue. In the meantime, west of Broad Street, almost every parcel is zoned for industrial use- though many would argue it would be an ideal mixed-use corridor moving forward. Sadly, until that remapping happens, the current zoning designations are hampering forward-looking projects while encouraging backward-looking projects. To wit, consider the overturned mixed-use project at 1601 Washington Ave. and the planned storage facility at 2300 Washington Ave. which can be built by right.

Storage facility is planned here. It'll be a sixy-foot cube.

If you look to the east of the future storage facility, at 2318 Washington Ave. there's a collection of zoning notices associated with the old EHC Food and a former substation. Plans here, as presented last week to the community, call for a second-hand furniture, home goods, and building supply store from Habitat for Humanity called ReStore. The project will include 33 parking spaces.

Shades of the same block of Chadwick Street

Point Breeze has seen quite a bit of redevelopment over the last several years, but some blocks have mysteriously dodged the wave of construction. But it's often those blocks that are poised for the most dramatic transformations. Take for example, the 1300 block of Chadwick Street. One year ago, the eastern side of this block was 80% vacant, and empty lots dotted the west side of the block as well. Visit the block today and you'll find a bushel of new homes that have been constructed in the last twelve months and several others still under construction. Yes, that's a little bit of self promotion, as OCF Realty, the company that owns this blog, is the broker for many of those homes. But it's relevant self promotion!!!

Now it seems a similar situation is unfolding a couple blocks away on the 1300 block of S. Cleveland St., a block that looked somewhat bleak until recently.

In the past

To be fair, this block was in better shape than Chadwick Street, as most of one side of the block has remained relatively intact. But you can see, the east side of the street was entirely vacant. We stopped by this block earlier today, and the situation is quite different.

Hear about 'em in person

We generally like to tell you about projects after the wheels start turning in the community process, but tonight we're gonna make an exception. On December 15th at 6:30pm, South Philadelphia Homes is holding a community meeting for several larger projects planned for Point Breeze. Later this week, we'll have some additional info on these projects, but for now here's the agenda:

- Thirteen units at 24th & Manton with thirteen parking spots
24th & Manton
- Expansion of Madira at 1252 S. 21st St., 
- Duplex 1301 S. 23rd St.
- Signage at 1447 Point Breeze Ave.
- Additiona at 1822 Latona St.
- Four homes at 2408-14 Manton St.
- Mixed-use building at 24th & Ellsworth
24th & Ellsworth

You've heard about these meetings on this site in the past- go to one and be a part of the community process!

Disclosure: This may come as a shock but our parent company, OCF Realty, is involved in none of these projects.

Certainly more fun than tile

Washington Avenue has certainly seen some positive changes in recent years. Restaurant Cafe Ynez is doing their thing on the first floor of the successful NextFab Studios. Kermit's is killing it on the 2200 block. There's even a crossfit gym. But all of these developments, while certainly excellent, are small potatoes. We're still waiting for that big thing to transition Washington Avenue from a forklift-laden moat between two neighborhoods to a walkable, pedestrian friendly bridge between Graduate Hospital and Point Breeze.

That could happen if someone buys and finally redevelops the Frankford Chocolate Factory. Or when construction starts at 1601 Washington Ave. on a new mixed-use building. Or perhaps when a beer garden/entertainment venue opens at 22nd & Washington.

Wait, what?