Queen Village

Apartments coming in its place

The other day, a reader gave us the heads up about demolition at 1014 E. Moyamensing Ave., a former nursery on a block that's entirely residential aside from a pet store/record store a bit to the north. The building that disappeared served as a nursery/day care for twenty-five years, and before that it was a storage garage. The building was nothing special, in our opinion.

In the past
No more building

According to permits on the property, a four-story, five-unit apartment building will soon get built here. No word on whether they'll be rentals or condos, though we'd bet on rentals. The reader who told us about this situation expressed some surprise that this project was taking place on a block that's full of single-family homes and that the developers didn't have to appear before QVNA to get community approval.

Sounds extremely dangerous

Society Hill Beverage is getting a roommate, er, nine of them to be exact. Assuming the ZBA says yes, soon they'll have new upstairs neighbors, as developers plan to build an addition on top of the warehouse at 129-43 Washington Ave. that currently houses the beer distributor. Plans are to build a second floor with nine apartment units.

Apartments planned above the beer distributor

This Queen Village block has seen improvements in recent years. On the south side of the street, a collection of new homes have been built, with the latest phase recently coming to a close. Long abandoned foundations are finally on the way to redevelopment on this block as well. Just next door to Society Hill Beverage, the once bleak looking Sonny's General Auto Repair at 123-29 Washington Ave., is being converted into three homes fronting League Street with garages fronting Washington Avenue. Not the most spectacular improvement, garage to garage, but it's a clear step in the right direction and points to reinvestment along a block in an area that has historically been industrial.

After years and years of fabric stores

When we last checked in on the corner of 4th & Fitzwater, new construction at the southwest corner was approaching completion. Remember, the building that once stood here burned in the spring of 2013, leading to its demolition. While its replacement was under construction, Jack B. Fabrics moved to the 743 S. 4th St., on the southeast corner. In the months since our last visit, the construction finished up and the fabric store moved back to its original location, leaving the space across the street vacant. But it appears as though plans are in the works to fill that space.

Former and present home of Jack B. Fabrics
LCB notice in the window across the street

The names on the LCB application are Scott Schroeder and Patrick O'Malley. Schroeder, according to Philly Voice, is the chef at SPTR and American Sardine Bar. O'Malley is a pastry chef. As of last week, there were no additional details on the project.

Construction is getting started

The warehouse at 112-20 Christian St. that was once home to the Scandinavian Shipping Supply Co. is no more. In its place, a vacant lot. But not for long. Back in the fall of 2013, we told you about plans for the demolition of the building and plans to replace it with nine townhomes. At that time, the developers and the community were still hammering out the details for the project, which was to have four homes on Christian Street and five behind them, facing an interior courtyard. But despite support from members of the Queen Village Neighbors Association, the Planning Commission, and the councilman, the project was denied by the ZBA last spring.

In the past

At the time, there was concern that the developers might simply default to a project they could do by right, a 29-unit apartment building. But somewhere along the line, a variant of the original project was reintroduced and found favor in the eyes of the ZBA. Now, an altered version of this project is underway, though we confess we don't know what changes were made to appease the ZBA.

Because the developers chipped off all the original details

In the summer of 2013, the Antiquarian's Delight at 6th & Bainbridge closed its doors when the building they called home for many years changed hands. About a year ago, we were excited to share the news that the structure, a former synagogue with wonderful original details, would be preserved and converted into an apartment building. Over the summer though, we were extremely disappointed to see that the developers, who also own Bella Vista Beer and Bainbridge Street Barrel House, had decided to remove the Jewish markings on the building that expressed its history.

Jewish stars and Hebrew words were scraped off the facade

We passed by the other day, and the renovation is done. The bricks have been cleaned up considerably and new windows have gone in. The side of the building has been stuccoed, and the Jewish stars on the front have been replaced by some weird design that's matched on the upper floor of the northern wall.