South Philly

Nine homes with parking will be a fine change of pace

We actually thought we wrote about this project before, but when we were researching our story from earlier this week about three new homes coming to 7th & Morris, we realized we'd never shared the news that new homes are coming soon to the 600 blocks of Moore and Pierce Streets. Currently, 617 Moore St. is a large vacant lot with a huge beer distributor immediately to the east and a bunch of homes to the west.

View of the lot on Moore Street
Beer distributor to the east
Homes to the west

As you can see, the lot extends all the way to Pierce Street. At the end of last year, developers presented plans to the ZBA for nine homes on this property, with four homes and a drive-aisle entrance on Moore Street and five more homes on Pierce Street. The design is pretty straightforward, though we'd bet that the homes splitting the drive-aisle are going to lay out suboptimally.

Replacing a parking lot

Doesn't it bug you when you come home after a long day at work and find a take-out menu from a pizza place you've never heard of jammed into your mailbox? Alas. Maybe a decade ago, we came home to find a menu from a pizza place hilariously named "The Pizza Place" and the menu included some pretty compelling coupons, so we gave the them a shot. And wouldn't you know it, the pizza was actually pretty good. And with the coupon it was incredibly inexpensive to boot. We got delivery from this place a bunch of times over the years, but never actually visited the store at the northwest corner of 7th & Morris. It ain't the prettiest intersection in town.

Pizza Place, recently reopened under new management!
Auto shop on the southeast corner
Old view of the northeast corner

So we were rather surprised to hear from a reader earlier this week with news that the surface parking lot pictured above was no more. A large hole has appeared in its place.

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.