Rittenhouse

Project is scaled down from a previous iteration

The huge structure at 2400 Market St. was built around the time of the First World War according to Philaphilia, and was originally used by the Gomery-Schwartz car company for a variety of car company type uses. As time passed, it became known as the Loft Building and as of thirty years ago it became home to the Marketplace Design Center, a major local resource for interior design professionals. As you've probably noticed though, the building is now under heavy construction and lest you worry about the Marketplace Design Center, they are moving to Market East. Bistro San Tropez, a restaurant that was located in this building for many years, is sadly gone forever.


Recent shot

So... what's going on here?

Enough already!

We grabbed a cup of joe from River Bros. at 24th & Lombard over the weekend, and then decided to take a leisurely walk through the neighborhood while sipping our tasty beverage. We found ourselves on the 2300 block of Waverly Street and noticed a row of three homes on the south side of the block which had recieved third floor additions at some point in the past. Across the street, we spied another home which had a third floor added somewhere along the line, though this addition was set back slightly and the home had a deck area situated in front.


Looking east on the 2300 block of Waverly

Three homes on the south side

Home with a setback on the north side

A few things to note about these additions. First, they're located in one of the highest priced neighborhoods in town, on an attractive block where a home sold a couple years ago for over $800K. Not only is this a wonderful block, but it's also a very skinny block that's tough to drive down without knocking into a parked car's side mirror. Also, you'll note that the block has mostly two-story homes, but the mix of three-story homes doesn't ruin the architectural integrity of the streetscape. And we should mention that all four additions that we pointed out maintained the cornice line of the original two-story homes.

And thanks for all the beer

Omega Pizza operated at the northeast corner of 22nd & South for many years, offering lousy pizza but an extensive selection of slightly overpriced beer. It closed its doors a few weeks ago and now its old home is being demolished, to be replaced by a five-story mixed-use building with a Wawa on the first floor. We last updated you on this project when it came before CCRA over the summer, and we can tell you that it got approval from the ZBA back in August. Now, Alterra Property Group is moving forward with their plan for a new building with 29 apartments, a handful of parking spaces, and the aforementioned Wawa. If you'd like to pay your final respects to Omega Pizza, you'd better get over there soon.


Old view of Omega Pizza

Mostly demolished now

We reached out to the developers to ask for final renderings of the project but they're still finalizing exactly what the building will look like. At this point, all we can show you is an old image from when they came to CCRA, and now we'll have to patiently wait a couple months to get a final answer on what we can expect in terms of the building's appearance.

Revised plan will preserve two buildings on Sansom Street

Just a few weeks ago, we checked in on 1911 Walnut St. and informed you that the property was still sitting vacant, as it has since the mid-1990s. This was at least somewhat surprising, as we provided some detailed plans for a project from Southern Land Company at this address about a year ago and we were hopeful that SLC would succeed where others had tried and failed. For those that don't remember the details, the project was to rise 55 stories and include a mix of rental apartments, condos, office space, and retail. Sadly, it also included the demolition of three historic buildings on the 1900 block of Sansom Street

Earlier this month, Philadelphia Business Journal indicated that months of negotiations between the developer and members of the community would result in changes to the project, including shrinking the building, eliminating the office use, and changing design elements to make the edifice "less modern and more fitting with Philadelphia." Le sigh. We've been patiently waiting for more details, hoping that the newly designed-by-committee project wouldn't be a major departure from what was shaping up to be an exciting new building for our skyline. Yesterday, Philly.com answered the bell, providing some new renderings and filling in some of the blanks from earlier this month.

Could Goldenberg tear it down sometime soon?

There's a cool looking building on the northwest corner of Broad & South that has been home to the World Communications Charter School since it opened almost twenty years ago. This corner was originally home to a row of amazing mansions which were sadly demolished by the 1950s, with the building we see today rising in their place, perhaps as a parking garage. You can see, the original window openings were once ten times the size they are today.


View of the school from Broad Street

View of the building on South Street

Over the summer, Philly.com reported that the Goldenberg Group had purchased this building, though the story indicated that the school had a lease on the building for several years into the future. At the end of October though, we learned that the school would be closing at the end of the school year, which gives us a sense that something could be brewing here sooner rather than later.

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