South Philly

New owners doing it no favors

A reader first brought the former Equity Savings and Loan bank building at 2234 S. 7th St. to our attention about a year and a half ago, and at the time we wondered whether the owners might make it available for sale and redevelopment. Within a few weeks (didn't you know we're phychic?), the longtime owners put the property on the market for just under $100K, and three days later it was under agreement for $27K above the asking price. The building was once a bank, as we mentioned, but was more recently used as a thrift store and a warehouse. Per the listing, it had no water or HVAC. Still, it had some wonderful bones.

In the past

The current owners have done some significant work to the building and according to permits it's now a mixed-use property with a fish store on the first floor and two apartments above. Perhaps to evoke an under the sea vibe, they've applied a coat of turquiose paint to the building. In an effort to secure the location, they've added a bunch of metal security gates, replacing old window openings and plywood. And for reasons we're not sure we understand, they've sealed up the original entrance to the building. Check it out:

Price seems a wee bit high

A reader recently tipped us off about 1931-37 W. Passyunk Ave., a large building around the corner from Nick's Roast Beef. It's possible that they emailed us because they happened upon the listing while looking for who knows what on the internet, and there's a chance they contacted us because they know the owner or the realtor and they're trying to get the property some attention. But in this case, the motivations don't matter to us! Here, check out the property:

Current view

Wow, this thing looks lousy. One would have to think it looked nicer back in the day. But now... yikes. The two-story brownstone next door retains most of its character, even though the first-floor window is boarded up. Both properties are currently listed for sale in a single package, with an asking price of $950K. The current listing indicates that the property has about 3,700 sqft of land, and old listings show that the buildings were once home to a beauty school, a furniture store, and a catering hall upstairs. But it's the rendering that really makes the listing pop.

Amazing rendering

This rendering is just so confusing.

Hidden bowling alley in South Philly

Pop quiz: You want to go bowling in South Philly. And South Bowl is feeling a little pricey for your Thursday night budget. Where do you go?

Saint Monica Lanes at 16th & Shunk, of course!

We've literally been meaning to write about this place for years. We first found our way here several years ago when we attended a fundraiser for youth programs at the Marian Anderson Rec Center, where $20 got us beer, bowling, and live music. And it helped the kids! And then for a few years we forgot where the place was located. And then we remembered, and we've meant to write about it ever since.

View at 16th & Shunk
Tiny sign for the bowling alley

The bowling alley, which has been around for decades, has twelve lanes and the type of automated system you'd expect. They also have party rooms and a game room. For as little as a hundred bucks, you can rent two lanes and have yourself a party. If you're more popular than us, you can rent out the whole place for up to four hours for $650. You might not imagine from from the sign, but the place is in pretty good shape.

Plans have been there for years

Over the weekend, we changed things up a bit and eschewed the Melrose in favor of the Penrose Diner. On our way there, we noticed some construction fencing across the street that had previously escaped our attention.

Looking under the Schuylkill Expressway, we noticed a fence
Fenced-in area next to the Ramada

At 2001 Penrose Ave., next door to the hilariously named Ramada Philadelphia City Center, there's a vacant lot with a sign advertising a not-yet-built shopping center.

Some neighbors would prefer it doesn't

We're on so many mailing lists. And perhaps because we get so many emails that are only of marginal interest, we end up ignoring most of them. Yesterday though, we got an email that caught our eye so we figured we'd share. It came from the 5th Square, a political action committee that advocates for good governance, better land-use, improved public transportation, and other stuff that makes and would make our city a better place. The topic of the email was the Guerin Recreation Center at 16th & Jackson, and more specifically it related to a proposed green space on its southern end.