If you find yourself on Front Street just south of Girard, you’ll probably notice a large sign telling you that you’re across the street from the Notorious Galdo Parcel. This property, located at 1101 N. Front St., has technically been owned by the City of Philadelphia since 1974. John Galdo bought a home across the street in 1989 and soon after started making improvements to the lot, including paving a portion of it and building a tree house for his kids. In 2013, it occurred to someone at the City to try to sell the parcel, but Mr. Galdo fought back, claiming adverse possession, as he has been using the property for the previous two decades. The case has been tied up in court since then, but a recent State Supreme Court decision gives us a sense that Galdo will eventually prevail. For a more thorough detailing of the saga from the Inquirer, click here.
The sign for the Notorious Galdo Parcel has been around for years, but we’re a little more interested in something that’s a newer addition to the scene. A short walk away, at 1141 N. Front St., is an active construction site on a property that was previously used as a small surface parking lot. The property, incidentally once owned by Galdo, is now being developed into a mixed-use building which will rise 6 stories and will include 43 apartments, 13 parking spaces, and roughly 1,800 sqft of retail space. Surely you’d agree that this will represent a significant upgrade over a surface lot.
Once completed, this building will represent yet another addition to the burgeoning Front Street corridor. We’ve previously covered plenty of action on Front Street north of Girard, where we’ve seen numerous apartment buildings sprout up in recent years, with a solar powered edifice as the most recent addition, way up near Norris Street. The small stretch of Front Street that runs from Laurel to Girard feels like a natural extension of this corridor, as this is where the El breaks off of I-95 and starts its run to Kensington Avenue. To date, the most prominent project here has been the construction of automobile-vending machine company Carvana, which we still don’t really understand. The new apartment building should be a somewhat more functional addition to the area, to say the least. And with the same developer owning the adjacent vacant lot, we suspect a sister project is in the pipeline.