Five Homes Replace a Church on Corinthian Avenue

We’ve been tracking the situation at 875 Corinthian Ave. for a few years now, and indeed things have changed quite a bit during that time. Back in 2016, we noticed a ‘For Sale By Owner’ sign at the property and we wondered whether the party that would eventually buy the property would demolish the building on the site or convert it into apartments. A reminder, this building was the site of the New Macedonia Church, a handsome though non historic church that was originally constructed in the 1870s as the Corinthian Avenue German Church. Given that the building was not designated historic and the fact that we’re referring to it in the past tense, you can probably guess that the developers that bought the property opted for demolition.

In the past

A little over two years ago, a reader reached out to us and shared the news that the church was under agreement and that the buyers planned to tear down the church and build five homes in its place. We were a bit bummed at this news though hardly surprised, as a condo or rental conversion surely wouldn’t have been the most lucrative approach for the property. Further, a rental approach would have required a visit to the ZBA to get a variance for density, and that might have been a source of disagreement with neighbors fearful about parking issues. Given that demolition and five homes was a by-right development and more lucrative, it feels like it was inevitable.

New homes
Closer look
View on the drive aisle

As expected, the developers ran the homes across the site, running a drive aisle perpendicular to Corinthian Avenue. These are some of the biggest homes in the neighborhood, with each measuring roughly 20’x40′ and offering two-car parking. We’d have thought that the homes would be listed for sale but we don’t see any listings at this time, so that’s kind of all the info we have on the homes themselves. We can speculate that they’ll be listed at prices in the low seven figures, which feels like a high number on the Fairmount-Francisville border but still feels appropriate given the size of these homes. Unfortunately and predictably, they don’t compare architecturally to the building they’re replacing- but we can count examples of such projects on one hand. It’s old hat to say that they don’t build ’em like they used to, but it’s certainly the case in this town and we imagine it’s true just about everywhere else in 2019.

  • ZBIZZ

    An apartment conversion of the church would’ve been nice.

  • PreserveNicePhiladelphiaBldgs

    Ugly, neo-brutalist cheap garbage with tiny windows. The developer, Boris Perelshteyn, lives next door and could have/should have done much better with the design, which impacts the entire neighborhood. Terrible stuff and he should be ashamed of himself.

  • FrancisvilleMgmt

    I am sure the size/interiors will be nice enough to coax buyers but these are just hideous from an external architectural standpoint. Very disappointing for the neighborhood.

    • Eternalbem

      “The Neighborhood” doesn’t figure into the CBA. Quick profit before they yank the abatements and the bottom falls out is all that matters.

  • banjozac

    Huge downgrade.

  • CH^2D

    Tragic. And the developers always add insult to injury by replacing the historic structure with something that looks exceedingly cheap and ugly. Please stop metal clad box bays!

    • Eternalbem

      after all, they are not communists…

  • PreserveNicePhiladelphiaBldgs

    He didn’t even put a cornice on his own ugly box of a home, so I’m not surprised that his poor taste perpetuates to his development projects in the neighborhood.