Temple Area

Couldn't they have done this before classes started?

Earlier this week we were in the mood for a crepe, and we decided that a visit was in order to the Creperie at Temple food truck on the 1200 block of Norris Street. On this lunch-seeking mission, we were unaware of two things. First, classes have started at Temple and the campus is now crawling with undergrads. Not such a big deal, but it made for a longer than expected line at the food truck. Perhaps more relevant for a real estate blog, we also noticed that Barton Hall is getting torn down.

Corner of 13th & Norris
Looking down 13th Street
Middle of the building

Plans for the demolition of this building, constructed in 1959, have been in the works for some time. This makes us wonder why the demolition effort couldn't have happened over the summer, before the students came back to campus. For the next few weeks, as this building comes down, passing by will be rather unpleasant, between the noise and the dust. As it was, waiting on line for a crepe half a block away wasn't a treat.

We don't know what's next

Cecil B. Moore Avenue has seen all kinds of changes in recent years, as the neighborhood close to Temple University has experienced an unprecedented wave of development. Walking down this street, you can see a mix of older buildings that have survived for about a hundred years and new structures which are generally used for student housing. Slowly, we're seeing demolition for some of the older buildings that have not been well maintained. And the other day we spotted another one that looks like it will soon come down.

Former cleaners

1700 Cecil B. Moore Ave. was once a cleaners and it retains some of the old signage. The projecting sign at the corner is pretty great and the "Frequent Cleaning Adds Beauty and Long Life" on the side of the building is amazing. But the newest sign on the building is perhaps the most interesting. It's a Notice of Demolition. Developers bought the property late last year for $235K and have pulled permits to tear it down. We don't know about their plans for the property, but they interestingly have listed the property for sale since a month after they bought it.

In either direction, there's a bunch of newer properties.

Will certainly look like nothing else in the area

At 7th & Berks, we told you last week about plans for nine triplexes, ostensibly targeting Temple students. A commenter was kind enough to direct our attention one block to the east, to 6th & Berks, where a long-vacant lot is now home to a new foundation.

In the past
Current view

Naturally, your first expectation here would be even more student housing. As we mentioned last week, the rail tracks that run between 9th and 10th Streets represent a barrier from Temple, but projects like Paseo Verde are potentially inspiring additional development to the east of the school. If, however, your first guess here is student housing, your guess would be totally wrong. No folks, this will be a mixed-use building, combining a home with an artist studio. And it's gonna look like nothing else in the area.

Student housing stretches ever further east

A reader recently reached out on Twitter (follow us @nakedphilly), curious about some construction activity at 1901 N. 7th St., in a section of town we don't get to very often. We took a peek on the old Google Maps time machine function to see that this property looked totally awful as recently as a couple of years ago.

In the past

Now, however, it's a huge construction site.

The other day

The plan for this site is nine triplexes, making a total of twenty-seven new units. The developer is PRDC Properties, though looking at their sign on the site they'd be happy to sell the project to you if you're interested. When we reached out to the developers though, we were informed that it's their policy to not comment on any projects beyond what's in the public record. So let's look at the sign and call it a day.

Nobody is too sad to see the Triangle Apartments go away

For many years, the southwest corner of Broad & Norris has been surrounded by a red plywood fence, hiding the Temple Community Garden from street view. Immediately to the west on Norris Street and to the south on Broad Street were a bunch of old homes long ago chopped up into apartments. Those buildings were collectively known as the Triangle Apartment Complex and they were used in recent years as grad student housing. Let's just say they didn't have a stellar reputation.

In the past

Last year, the garden moved to a more visible location at Carlisle & Diamond. And in March, demolition got underway on the buildings nearby. Passing by today, you can see that the buildings are all gone but there's still heavy equipment on the site.