The northeast corner of 11th & Wood has been vacant for decades. And this makes sense to some extent. For many years, trains ran on the elevated viaduct immediately to the west, a now-abandoned stretch which will soon become the Rail Park. And half a block to the south, the Vine Street Expressway has been moving cars from here to there for the last twenty-five plus years and let's just say that developers haven't been falling over each other to build next to the highway.
But something is changing in this area. Maybe it's because developers are looking at any and all possibilities near Center City. Maybe it's because there's finally optimism that the Rail Park is going to happen soon, which will make the neighborhoods near the viaduct far more attractive. We'd say this is certainly the case in the West Poplar neighborhood, so why not the northern part of Chinatown too? Remember, the Goldtex building, a warehouse turned apartment building, is just a block away from here, just on the other side of the viaduct.
Last fall, we told you about some new foundations at 11th & Wood. Checking in here now, you can see a corner that's being totally built up.
As was the case previously, permits on this project are proving really tricky to track down. But it's our belief that the project includes four buildings on Pearl Street, four on 11th Street, and four on Wood Street. On Wood Street, three of them are apartment buildings, each with five units. Everything else is an individual mixed-use building, each with a retail space on the first floor and apartments above. If that's indeed the case, we don't understand the logic in building them one at a time- a large building with apartments and some larger retail space would have made more sense, no?
Sure, we can argue about the specifics of this project but given the location we're not inclined to make too much of a fuss. At the moment, these apartment units will have nice access to Chinatown and the highway, and the retail spaces will be tough to fill. Once the park opens on the viaduct, the residents will have a great amenity nearby and businesses might take a closer look at opening over here. In the meantime, at least this parcel has finally been redeveloped after a lengthy hibernation.