Queen Village

Neighbors will throw a party

We've had an eye on 718-724 S. 2nd St. for several years, first bringing the property to your attention back in the summer of 2011. Though the property has been on our radar for a remarkable five years, it's been a thorn in the sides of its neighbors for half a decade more. This stalled construction site has been a blight on the neighborhood for so long, but it looks like it could soon meet its destiny at last.

Stalled project

A reader tipped us off today that demolition notices have been posted to the property. This is very good news indeed.

Now though, it's a big hole

We have a handful of memories involving 514 South St., all of which date back to a time that Dairy Queen made its home in this one-story building. By the end of its time at this address, the DQ was kinda gross, so it was no surprise to us when it went out of business. In the last few years, a couple of businesses have rotated through the space, including a bagel place and a pizza spot. Today though, the building is gone and a hole in the ground has appeared in its place. Ditto the surface parking lot next door.

A few years ago
Current view

Developer Haffey Homes bought the properties last year, and is now moving forward with a plan for a five-story mixed-use building. The property has frontage on South Street, Randolph Street and Kater Street, and covers 7,200 sqft, so it has the potential to accommodate this sizable building. The plans call for 32 one-bedroom rental apartments on the upper floors, with a retail space and 12 parking spots on the ground floor. The developer is ideally looking for a restaurant tenant for the commercial space, with 1700 sqft available on the first floor and another 1500 sqft in the basement. Harman Deutsch has done the design work.

Condos plus a hotel, oh my!

Bella Vista and Queen Village are a mess right now thanks to a bunch of road work, but the 500 block of Bainbridge Street was closed today thanks instead to real estate development. Two projects are simulaneously under construction on this block, and they're rather different from one another. First, let's look at the four-story building now getting framed out at 519 Bainbridge St., a former surface parking lot.

Construction next to Mostly Books

We first told you about this project last summer, shortly after the project was approved by the ZBA. To refresh your memory, there are three distinct buildings under construction here, with one unit above two parking spaces. Two additional duplexes sit behind it with a footpath that will allow access to those buildings. Eventually, another six-unit building will go up to the north, with frontage on Kater Street. Developer Haffey Homes will be listing the units for sale in the next month or so, with expected completion of the first phase at the end of the summer. Take a look at this rendering from Harman Deutsch to get an idea of what's coming.

Rendering of condo buildings

Just a few steps to the east, there's some serious progress to report on a project we've been eyeing for years.

Intersection has come a long way

It wasn't so long ago that you could have generously described the corner of 4th & Queen as "not one of the best in the neighborhood." More specifically, there were roughly ten buildings on either side of 4th Street, just south of Queen, that looked like their owners hadn't cared for them very carefully over the years. At the southeast corner was Queen Village Pizza, a business we confess we never patronized due to its lousy curb appeal. The southwest corner was home to a laundromat and a little bodega.

Old view of the SE corner of 4th & Queen
SW corner in the past

A few years ago, the southeast corner got the renovation treatment, with the old pizza shop moving on and a new pizza shop taking over. The buildings to the south lost their weird shingled awnings and colorful stucco covered over some fading brick. We actually have visited Little Italy 2 at some point in the last couple of years, and the pizza is pretty good.

We had brunch there a few days ago

Fabric Row was all about fabric once upon a time. Hence the name. But as the years have passed and the internet has become more and more a source of... well, everything, fabric stores have faded and other businesses have come to the corridor. We've always thought that Fabric Row would be a fertile ground for bars and restaurants, and actually had our eye on a double-wide space for many years but to no avail. Fabric row has had some food establishments (we're looking at you Famous 4th Street), but the booze has been slower to come around until rather recently.