Point Breeze

Years in the making

Almost three years ago, we first brought you to the corner where Titan Street hits Point Breeze Avenue, to a large parcel that's been vacant for many years. We shared, with excitement, plans for the redevelopment of this lot with a new mixed-use building. We wondered if this development, with thirteen apartments and a first-floor commercial space, would spur new construction in the neighborhood and on the corridor, and whether it would encourage new businesses to come to Point Breeze.

In the past, a huge vacant lot

In the years that have passed since we first broke news of this project, construction has indeed continued in the surrounding neighborhood. And a few new businesses have opened on Point Breeze Avenue, including OCF Coffee House, a new pharmacy, and Breezy's Cafe. But this property has continued to sit, embroiled in litigation. A few months ago, the lawsuit was thrown out and construction finally got started. Passing by earlier today, we discovered a building that's been fully framed to two stories, with work taking place on the third.

To nobody's surprise, it's tearing up the place

Yesterday, we posted about the demolition of a former launderette at 21st & Federal, and also mentioned the row of homes under construction across the street. When we passed by the corner in advance of writing that post, the southwest corner, the former Burg's Lounge, was sitting vacant, as it has for many months. When we dropped by this corner earlier today, we saw a very different sight.

Backhoe at work
Dumping into a truck

Remember, over two years ago, we told you that Burg's Lounge would be coming back to life thanks to a the investment of some real estate people who were either going to operate the bar or get other operators in there. We still aren't sure who's taking charge of the once and future bar, but it appears to finally be moving forward. The place has been totally gutted inside, and the backhoe you see above is clearing out the junk inside. Hopefully, the backhoe won't accidentally bump any bricks from the doorway into the place. If it doesn't we award bonus points to these developers for creative use of a backhoe.

But more importantly, the fact that work is finally happening here is only good news for the neighborhood. We suspect neighbors will be pleased with the addition of another watering hole to the neighborhood.

What's gonna happen next?

It was all the way back in the summer of 2011 that we first noticed 1201 S. 21st St., a blighted vacant building that had once been a launderette. In the 1950s, the building looked halfway decent, even if it was only one story tall. But in 2011, it looked like all kinds of crap.

Back in 1954
In the past

Three years ago, a commenter ran into the property owner at the site, and learned about plans to build a two-story addition on top of the existing building. Sometime after the above photo was taken though, the building was partially demolished, leaving only wood framing and an exposed foundation. It sat like this for years, occasionally getting a Stop Work Order posted on the property.

Looked like this for a couple of years

In recent months, we saw a sign on the property advertising its availability for sale. We never called, but we understand the asking price was $120K. Yeesh. According to public record, the same guy who owned the property since 1992 still owns the property, but we wouldn't be surprised if a new owner has stepped in (at a lower price?) and this hasn't yet been reflected in public record. We're guessing that there's a new owner because the property was finally demolished last week.

And even more are coming

After nobody paid it much mind for many years, the 1300 block of Chadwick Street has gotten a ton of attention of late. The block had been dominated by a huge vacant lot on its eastern side for a long time, but a major residential development has shrunk the size of the lot, and soon it will disappear completely. At the beginning of this year, groundbreaking took place for a twelve-home project on the aforementioned lot. To date, eight of the twelve homes have been built and three are either sold or under agreement. The remaining homes are currently listed for $349K.

On the east side, eight new homes are up

Across the street, we spied another project that recently got underway. Remember, about a year ago, we told you of plans for three more homes on this block, at 1308-12 Chadwick St., on a much smaller vacant lot. Formwork is currently in the ground, and we'd wager that foundations will get poured later this week.

We shall see

As has been the case on many blocks in Point Breeze of late, the 2000 block of Federal Street has seen considerable redevelopment. On the block's eastern end, OCF Coffee House opened a couple of years ago and Breezy's Cafe moved in a little more recently, adding to the commercial mix at the top of Point Breeze Avenue. On the south side of the block, two new construction projects and a rehab have progressed nicely since we first covered them back in July. And on the western end of the block, seven homes with parking in the rear are replacing a lot that's been vacant for quite some time. This is a change from what was originally presented as a plan for fifteen condo units.

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