South Philly

Huge parcel could be big opportunity

A thread on Philadelphia Speaks inspired us to highlight a blighted hulking building on a giant chunk of land down by the stadiums. Located at 3200 S. Broad St., you've almost definitely passed this property if you've ever driven or walked to a game.

South of the highway, near the stadiums

Way back in the day, before even Municipal Stadium was built, this was the site of a varnish factory according to historical maps. In the middle of the 20th century, it was the Southern Home for Destitute Children, an orphanage, so says one of the commenters on Philadelphia Speaks. Now, it's sitting empty.

Returning to a project we profiled a couple years back

The other day, we came upon an unfortunate looking building under construction in South Philly. We don't typically write about projects in this area, but the new triplex at 1930 S. 7th St. made us stop in our tracks to the point we felt we simply had to share. Here it is, in all its stucco-fied glory.

Recently built triplex

In other neighborhoods, we've gotten aggravated at the sight of a mere stucco bay window. But we can only recall a handful of other examples of an entire new construction building blandly wrapped in one color of stucco. We wonder, does a similar fate await the foundation just to the north?

Foundation two "doors" down

We actually told you about these projects a couple of years ago, but we had no idea that the buildings would look like this. Architecturally, it looks like they got some inspiration from the buildings immediately to the north.

Quadplex appears, and a home is coming next

This row of lots just south of 8th & McKean sat vacant for many years.

In the past

Last year though, developers stepped forward and built a quadplex that covered two of the lots. Sure, the new building at 2008-10 S. 8th St. won't win any architecture awards, but the fact that the building got built in the first place at this location is a bit of a triumph. If you read this blog with any regularity, you know we cover development all over greater Center City. And the fact is, there haven't been too many projects to speak of in this area, probably for decades.

Newish quadplex

Notice the pile of lumber next to the quadplex? Soon, a new construction single-family home will rise here.

New home coming

Though there's only a foundation so far, the home is already listed for sale for a (surprisingly high) price of $369,900. When it's done, the home will have over 2,000 sqft of living space, four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a roof deck, and so forth. If someone steps forward to buy the thing pre-construction, they'll be able to pick out fixtures and finishes. So if you want to own your Barbie dream house in South Philly, this could be your chance.

Don't see too many of these around

Last week, we were exploring in South Philly in our efforts to bring you an update on construction at "South Bowl". On our way down there, we came upon an interesting looking home at Front & McKean.

The home

We can only think of one other home that we've seen in Philadelphia that looks anything like this one. It's located at 22nd & Carpenter across from Julian Abele Park, and we've always kind of fancied it.

At 22nd and Carpenter

What do you think? Is this an attractive style? Or do you think it stinks? 

Could they open later this year?

We were purchasing some affordable yet stylish Swedish furniture over the weekend, and figured, hey, why not take a quick jaunt down to Oregon Ave. to see what's going on at the South Bowl site? You may recall that way back in November of 2011 we told you that plans were in the works for a bowling alley, a bar/restaurant, a music venue, billiards, an arcade, and batting cages at 19 E. Oregon Ave., right next to I-95. For many years, this location was home to Thomas Colace Co., a company that processes and distributes produce to food service businesses.

In the past

The building looks a little different these days.