Point Breeze

Changes continue for this little block

For a narrow block with homes on only one side, the 1900 block of Alter Street has seen quite a bit of change in recent years. Perhaps the biggest change occurred about three years ago, when a row of five new construction homes replaced a vacant lot. Remember, across the street from those homes there's a cool mural that makes a warehouse wall resemble row homes if you look at it quickly. Also, Greenstreet Coffee Roasters has their roasting facility on the north side of this block, which is why the area sometimes smells like roasting coffee.

Looking east on the 1900 block of Alter St.
Newer homes on the south side

Two more vacant lots are now on the outs on this block, at 1902 and 1904 Alter St.

Wonderful new addition for the community

Maria Pandolfi, a former art teacher at Childs Elementary, is partnering with Ron Kustrup and opening an after-school arts center for children in the ground floor space of the new building at the intersection of Point Breeze Avenue & Titan Street. This building has been a long time coming, as OCF Realty first presented plans for 13 apartments and a commercial space in January of 2012. The property had been sitting vacant for many years.

In the past

Construction finally got moving last year, after an appeal set back the clock on the project timeline. Today, the building is done and half of the apartments are occupied.

Come out and show some support!

A construction fence appeared last summer at the southeast corner of 20th & Reed, a corner that's been vacant for quite some time. We were pleased to tell you about plans for a mixed-use building at the corner and a home next door, but we weren't exactly confident that a retail tenant would rush into a lease at this location. We wondered whether the developers were taking an approach we've seen in other neighborhoods, where a space is built out as commercial but transitions to residential for a lack of interest from businesses. Looking at the building, you can see that the first floor could work as either a business or an apartment.

20th & Reed
Closer look

But sometimes we're wrong and in this case it seems we were. And we're not sad to admit it.

If you take a close look at the window, you can see a letter has been posted.

First visit since last fall

We've visited the 2300 block of Ellsworth Street several times over the years, each time bringing news of new construction (except for that one time a home collapsed on the block). Today seems like as good a day as any to check in.

Most recently, we covered two new homes at 2313-15 Ellsworth St. from To the Sky LLC. Those homes are now finished and sold for just under $400K. The same developers are finishing up a duplex next door at 2311 Ellsworth St. which they're selling as condos. The upper unit is under agreement at $300K and the lower unit is still available at an asking price of $265K. Back in 2011, this was all vacant land.

Back in 2011
2311-15 Ellsworth St. today

Moving to the west, we see some more homes that have appeared in the last couple of years. The home at 2327 Ellsworth St., currently under construction, has risen where the home had previously collapsed. All of the other lots were also previously vacant. And in case you're wondering about the lonely vacant lot that remains, you probably should have guessed that it's owned by the City of Philadelphia.

Awesome renovation of a cool old building

The former Abbott's Alderney Dairies building at 1715 McKean St. first caught our eye a couple of years ago, when we noticed zoning notices on the property and mentioned that the first floor space was available for rent. In the years since, the owners of the building have lovingly restored it and found themselves a tenant for both the first and second floors. The amazing building, originally used as an office and retail store for the dairy, was constructed in 1921 and designed by W. Timm.

In the past
Current view

There's a luxury apartment on the 2nd floor which is, sadly for you, already rented in a long-term lease. As for the first floor, you can't quite make out the sign in the image above, but the Philly Pack has taken it over. The 3,000 sqft space lends itself to their "canine enrichment center," where pooches are trained, socialized, and/or do some yoga-style activities. Notice, the first floor space has a new entrance, new windows, and new landscaping which improves the look of an already neat structure.