We never would have visited the bottom of Point Breeze Avenue if a reader hadn't reached out recently, wondering about the huge vacant lot that's located where the road ends at 28th Street. Always down for an adventure, we made the trip down to the area to see what all the fuss is about with this property, which is almost 44K sqft in size. We can't say we found out much.
Investors purchased 2117 S. 28th St. a couple years ago for under $100K and earlier this year listed it for sale for around $600K. On the plus side, the parcel is enormous and would accommodate roughly 120 residential units by right. On the other side of the coin, it's in a location that would probably not support market rate development at this point in time. I-76 is just a couple blocks to the west and the 25th Street viaduct is a couple blocks in the other direction. To the immediate south is a vast PHA development. Thinking about it further, we're not sure that market rate will ever work here, but we could see this parcel eventually getting developed as affordable housing.
We've had a thing for old theaters since we first walked into the Boyd-turned-Sameric a decade and a half ago. At one time, our fine city was full of old movie houses, but for the most part they've been systematically demolished to make way for much less enduring buildings. A handful have survived the years and been reused though, with the Five Below on Chestnut Street, originally the Arcadia Theater, standing as a fine and recent example. We'd like to think we have a pretty good bead on the former theaters in the neighborhoods in and around Center City, but earlier today we happened upon one we never knew about in South Philly.
Little known fact: It's actually illegal to park your car in the median on South Broad Street.
Normal view at Broad & Mifflin, looking south
Yeah, we know, everyone does it, and they've probably been doing it since well before we were born. But that doesn't mean that the practice should continue. First of all, it looks pretty awful. South Broad Street is one of our major arteries and one of our most photographed streets, and block after block of parked cars in the middle of the street isn't what anyone would call picturesque.
Normal view at Broad & Wolf
Also, it's super dangerous. Despite the traffic lights, South Broad Street feels like a highway at certain points. People are constantly swerving from lane to lane, trying to make lights. And they're probably not paying close attention to whether someone is getting into or out of a car in the median. It's actually amazing that more accidents don't occur on South Broad Street, given the median parking situation. And if you've ever tried to (illegally) park in the median, it can feel like you're taking your life in your hands.
As Pennsport continues to boom, developers have been building up Dickinson Narrows just to the west of the neighborhood. V2 Properties in particular has done a ton of work in this area, with projects on Mercy, Dudley, Emily, and Hoffman Streets, among others. On the 400 block of Hoffman Street, we see one such property which sold last year for $280K.
A new home on the 400 block of Hoffman Street
Around the corner from this home, we noticed a "For Sale" sign on a row of buildings on 5th Street. Considering all the construction that's happened in the area in recent years, we thought it might represent a development opportunity for somebody.
For Sale signs on the buildings
You can see, there are three buildings in a row which look alike, so we figured that all are available. We also suspected that the vacant lot at the corner, now housing a storage container, was also available. Checking the listings, we discovered that the corner isn't actually available and the buildings available for sale aren't actually an opportunity after all. 1907-1911 S. 5th St. were a development opportunity less than a year ago, when we believe a developer purchased them along with another building half a block away for a combined $350K. Now, each of the buildings are listed for $280K, or the package can be yours for $1.12M.
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.