Point Breeze

Who doesn't like produce and pantry items?

A Facebook post yesterday caught our attention, as it shared the news about a new corner grocery store planned for Point Breeze. 1713 McKean St. has been sitting vacant for many years, despite the total renovation of the former Abbott Dairy building next door. It turns out, the building is owned by the same people who did such a great job renovating the dairy building, and now they're working toward a similar goal here.

Let's rezone Washington Avenue already, huh?

If you didn't notice the sign on the fence, you could believe that the ongoing construction at the corner of 23rd & Washington is a fabulous example of progress and a step in the right direction for a corridor that's begging for mixed-use development. If you then read the sign, you'd discover the depressing truth that this building, now getting framed out in steel, will be a 60'-tall storage facility, and your excitement would turn to depression. But alas, that's what's happening, though more slowly than we were led to believe last summer.

View at 23rd & Washington

So yeah, this storage facility is happening. But developers on the 2300 block of Alter Street are thus far undeterred as they build a row of new townhomes on the entire south side of this block. The first phase of eight homes looks like it's finished and now the second phase, consisting of six more homes, is underway. You can see the newest homes from Washington Avenue.

Looks like some parts could be ready in weeks

It's been non-stop construction for the 1700 block of South Broad Street over the last year and a half, but the light at the end of the tunnel is shining more brightly with every passing day. The western side of this block was home for many years to the South Philadelphia Neighborhood LibraryHealth Center 2, and the DiSilvestro Playground and Recreation Center, and any of the aforementioned buildings would have benefitted from some renovation efforts. Instead, everything was demolished in late 2014 with plans for something called the Community Health and Literacy Center.

At the end of last summer, we noted there was significant progress, as the building had been framed out. Checking in more recently, it appears as though the new building is almost ready for its close-up, Mr. DeMille.

We guessed that homes were coming but we were wrong

A reader gave us the heads up the other day that a new foundation has appeared at 1827 S. 20th St., a long-vacant lot. It's true that development has crept further and further south in Point Breeze over the years, but we were legitimately surprised to hear about a project at this location.

View of the property in the past
Current view at 20th & Sigel

Considering the types of projects we commonly see around this neighborhood, we assumed that this would be two or three single-family homes, but we were way off base. Instead the owner is building a six-unit building which we'd wager will contain rental units. Developer Reuven Mosheyev is the one behind this project, and this isn't his first rodeo in Point Breeze. Some years ago, he built a row of rental homes on the 2000 block of Annin Street. A little more recently, he built seven homes with parking at 21st & Federal which have all sold.

Find out more details at next week's SPHINC meeting

Earlier today, the zoning agenda for next week's South Philadelphia HOMES meeting got posted to Facebook and we spied a project that we would not have expected. 2438-48 Federal St. sits right next to the 25th Street viaduct but developers have the 20K sqft property under agreement and are looking to build a residential development here. The property is (not surprisingly) zoned for industrial use, so they'll need some serious variances to build their desired project.