Queen Village

Has been vacant since the summer

The large building in the middle of the 400 block of South Street has gone through some ups and downs over the last few years. In 2011, Pearl Art & Craft Supplies closed their doors at 417 South St. after a lengthy run, as part of the entire company going out of business. After a few years of vacancy, we heard about a cool plan to turn the building into the "South Street Arts Center" and to create 85 artist studios over the building's three floors. But that project apparently fell through. A dance studio called Millennium Dance Complex opened a location here in the fall of 2014, but they were out of the space by the end of this summer. And today it's sitting vacant.

And they're working on foundations for the front homes

We first brought 112-20 Christian St. to your attention several years ago, noting that the property had gone on the market for $1.5M and was under agreement in about two weeks. At that time, the huge parcel was home to a large one-story garage and some office space for the Scandinavian Shipping Supply Company. At one point, the building also functioned as the Royal Norwegian Honorary Consulate in Philadelphia. And it looked like this:

One of the homes is already built

Oh this one hurts. Back in 2012, we went to a sheriff's sale with the hopes of purchasing 312 Monroe St., a one-story garage on a wonderful Queen Village block. But the property was either stayed or postponed and our hopes were dashed.

312 Monroe St. in the past

We passed by this address earlier today and were surprised to discover that the garage is no more.

No more garage

It turns out the property went back to sheriff's sale in 2014 and actually sold. 312 Monroe Partners LP paid just under $235K for the property, which measures just under 1,900 sqft and runs all the way to Pemberton Street. Had we bought this property, we would have divided the parcel into two lots and built a home on Pemberton Street and a home on Monroe Street. To show that we're not rocket scientists or perhaps that great minds think alike, the folks who bought the property are doing just that. In fact, the home on Pemberton Street looks like it's nearly finished.

A condo building is coming soon

Raise your hand if you hate surface parking lots in downtown Philadelphia.

<looking around> 

Good, us too.

It's with no sadness then, that we share the news that a new project will soon replace the surface parking lot at 519-23 Bainbridge St., a property that stretches all the way to Kater Street.

View on Bainbridge St.
The parking lot

We last saw developers Haffey Homes building a bunch of condos at Front & Naudain, another former surface parking lot. And that's exactly the plan here. Harman Deutsch designed a project that takes up the entire lot with eleven condo units and six parking spots. Check out the renderings:

We're still wishing for more height and density

The Bridgeview project is moving along, and it's hard to miss the progress. We were making a Home Depot run the other day, traveling down Columbus Blvd., and were struck by the changes just north of Catharine Street. Remember, this parcel was a huge vacant lot for a really long time. Now you can see a cement wall with a row of homes above it.

View from Delaware Avenue. Snapping this photo almost got us killed.

We first brought this project to your attention in the fall of 2013, when we were excited to learn that this lot, bounded by Columbus Blvd, Catharine Street, and I-95, would finally get redeveloped. The plan, in case you don't remember, called for seventy-five homes designed by JKR Partners. The developers are US Construction, and they're following their standard model of building a bunch of new homes and offering them for rent. While the homes fronting Columbus Blvd. still look like they're a ways off, a row of homes on Swanson Street look like they're pretty much ready to go.