If you've lived in the neighborhood for any amount of time, you've probably bought a six pack and a lousy slice of pizza at Omega Pizza on the northeast corner of 22nd & South. If you're a fan of the place you probably want to get there quickly, because it looks like the business is about to disappear.
Earlier today, we received news that the Omega Pizza building could soon be demolished and that developers have plans to build a new mixed use building on the site of the pizza place and the parking lot next door. The five-story building will contain 20 residential units on its upper floors and in the 5000+ sqft retail space, the plans call for a new Wawa (!!!). The plan also includes five parking spaces, though we doubt this will quell parking concerns from neighbors.
In the comments, one of our readers posted a link to the website for Astoban Properties which shows renderings of this project. Seeing these images, we get a much clearer sense of exactly what they were proposing.
Developers have their eye on an old brownstone at 2108 Walnut St. and the vacant lot next door which has been used as a surface parking lot for many decades. We actually covered this building at one point a few years ago after a spa moved out of the first floor retail space, wondering when a new business would take over. So far nobody has taken over the space, but zoning notices on the property suggest that bigger plans are in store.
It's been a couple of years since we last checked in on 1703-05 Pine St., and the passing time has made quite a difference. Back in 2013, we brought this property to your attention, wondering how the former home of Rittenhouse Cleaners could be sitting vacant and looking so awful.
A couple years ago
At the time, we told you that a developer had purchased the property in 2010 at a very low price and was, perhaps as a result, taking his time to renovate the property. Initially, a plan for five apartments didn't even make it to the ZBA. Around the time of our story in 2013, the developer applied for permits for two apartments above the retail space, likely echoing the previous layout. But the old storefront, as far as we noticed, continued to look lousy, mystifying passersby who surely wondered how a storefront could look so bad in such a great location. At the end of last year, Francesco DiCianni from the DiCianni Group came forward and apparently had a little more interest in getting this building up to par.
We passed by the property earlier this week and quickly realized we haven't taken Pine Street lately. The storefront has been totally redone.
Nobody would argue the point that Delancey Street in Center City is one of Philadelphia's ritziest addresses, which makes the perpetual blight at the corner of 18th & Delancey all the more striking. We first brought 325 S. 18th St. to your attention almost five years ago, but we've had our eye on the property for over a decade. At one point, we even dreamt of buying the property at sheriff's sale, since it was tax delinquent to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars (but not anymore). We were deeply depressed to see that someone had apparently purchased the property for $150K back in 2008, but according to a 2013 story from Inga Saffron that was a bogus deed transfer and the building has been in the hands of a woman named Teresa Isabella since the 1970s. And Ms. Isabella has been a remarkably awful property owner for as long as many neighbors can remember.