Alterra stepping in with a 20 story tower

Almost three years ago, we told you that the Philadelphia Housing Authority was looking for a partner to develop their former headquarters on Chestnut Street. PHA moved out of the building at 2012 Chestnut St. a little less than a decade ago and it has been sitting empty ever since, an increasingly inconsistent vacancy as significant projects have flourished nearby. But that inconsistency should soon resolve, as Philly.com reported today that PHA has selected Alterra Property Group as a development partner for this address.

But first it'll get torn down

A mixed-use building at the corner of 16th & Lombard probably isn't long for this world, as there's a proposal on the table to tear it down and replace it with something much taller. 1601-03 Lombard St. is a double-wide building that has been used most recently as a day care, but according to some old listings it held a medical office once upon a time. The building also has a couple of apartments in the rear on Addison Street, where the building rises up to three stories.

The building

View from Addison St.

You can see from the photos, there are now zoning notices up on the building, describing a plan to tear down the structure and construct a 65' tall building that rises five stories and includes four apartments on floors 2-5. According to the application, the first floor and basement would have non-residential uses, which seems like a fancy way to say there will be some kind of retail use downstairs. As proposed, the project creates a number of refusals, including for open area (0% proposed, 20% required), height (65' proposed, 38' allowed), and use (only residential permitted). The developers presented to CCRA last month but we didn't attend the meeting. Does anyone know how that went?

New hotel looking like it's gonna happen

Remember like two years ago when word came out that a hotel was planned for 17th & Chancellor and everybody freaked out because this meant that Little Pete's was going to lose its lease? Over the following year, we heard that maybe it wasn't going to happen, then the developers got a councilmanic ordinance and it seemed like it would indeed happen. Then another year passed without much news and we'd been wondering whether the project had fallen through. Next month though, the developers will present their plans at Civic Design Review, giving us a strong sense that this project will indeed move forward.

Not so exciting, aside from the location

While walking through town to meet up with some friends over the weekend, we sought some shade on the 2100 block of Waverly Street and were surprised to discover a couple of ongoing projects. We don't typically stumble upon development in this high rent part of town, making the projects a little more notable than they'd be if they were happening in South Kensington, for example. First, let's look at 2031 Waverly St., a new duplex that's getting built on a lot that was previously used for parking.

A duplex is under construction

This 850 sqft lot was listed for sale a bunch of times over the years, finally selling for $215K in 2013. We would have to imagine that the developers will sell the units off as condos, and though we don't see any listings as of yet, given the desirability of the location we suspect they'll eventually sell for high prices. Incidentally, we first thought that the garage next door was related to the new building but alas, it's just being used for parking for the adjacent property on Pine Street. Thinking about it, the different brick color was a dead giveaway and next time we'll have to pay closer attention.

A little space on an amazing corner

What do you get for the neighborhood that already has everything? Popsicles, of course! And just in time for autumn!

For as long as we can remember, 229 S. 20th St. was home to a picture framing shop which closed at some point in the last year or so. For several months, we've passed by this storefront wondering what could be taking over and whether a new place could possibly exude as much awesomeness as next door neighbor Yogorino. And wouldn't you know it, the phenomenal artisanal popsicle store Lil Pop Shop opened a new location here earlier this week. Per Eater, the store will be open all year, even in the cold months. Moving forward, if you're in the mood for froyo and your friend is feeling popsicles, everyone can walk away happy. And so the world is a slightly better place.