At first thought, the 600 block of Moore Street may not seem like the most obvious development site in South Philly. It’s a couple blocks away from Pennsport, and it’s a seven block shlep from Passyunk Avenue. This block in particular is a challenge, with a beer distributor on the north side of the street and a cabinet manufacturer taking up the entire southern side of the block. Nevertheless, we saw a nine home project appear on this block a couple years ago, with homes selling in the half million dollar range.
If you visit this block today though, you’ll see that more change is afoot, and that change will be rather significant. The cabinet warehouse has a construction fence around it, and this unattractive building is about to meet the wrecking ball. Surely, nobody will miss this black painted edifice, though we are definitely sorry about the loss of the “Language Labs” mural on its 7th Street facade.
We actually told you to expect this demolition roughly two years ago, when we told you that Kumas Homes had purchased the property and had plans for a multi-phased development. Phase 1, twenty-five homes on McClelland Street, got ZBA approval last year and should break ground as soon as the old industrial building comes down. The second phase went to the community last month and we believe it got a strong show of support as it prepares to go to the ZBA before the end of the year. Two years back, the plans called for small mixed-use buildings at the corners of 6th and 7th, with a row of 23 duplexes in between. We don’t know whether those plans have changed, but we do have renderings from CANNO Design.
With the elimination of the cabinet warehouse, this block will suddenly take on a very different character than it has ever had, with an industrial building transitioning into largely residential use. The development on the north side of the block felt a little out of place two years ago, but soon it will fit right in with its surroundings. Suddenly, the beer distributor is the outlier on the block and its 18K sqft property has become a very attractive development site. The owner of that property paid $230K back in 2010, and it’s safe to say that they’ll enjoy a significant windfall if and when they eventually sell to developers.