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.
Raise your hand if you hate surface parking lots in downtown Philadelphia.
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:
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.
The developers appeared last month before the Bella Vista Neighbors Association and received a letter of non-opposition from the community group. There was some token architectural feedback offered, but nothing life-changing. The project was approved by the ZBA two weeks ago so look for the parking lot to shut down sooner rather than later.
A little over a year ago, we told you about Fabric Lofts, an exciting plan for an old warehouse located on the southeast corner of 5th & Monroe. At the time, the building was home to Fleishman Fabrics, a business that has since moved, logically, to Fabric Row. As you might expect, the building has a history of commercial use. Back in the 1960s, the building was host to a wallpaper business. It has maintained much of its character, making it attractive for adaptive reuse.