Change Coming Soon to Two Delaware Avenue Parcels?

Mr. Fox

A significant deal has gone down on the hush along the waterfront, where 700-30 N Delaware Ave., a 50K+ sqft parcel, was purchased for $10M in August, according to the OPA.

Block for sale

Running north along the south side of Delaware Avenue, the property includes a closed faded building which operated under various names in the past, like Club Flow, that includes Greyhound offices and the large adjacent lot that houses dozens of Greyhound and Bolt Buses.  Realtor Karen Caplan confirmed the sale.

Dance!

We wonder who purchased the lot. Public records led us to a VMDT Partnership registered to what seems to be the same address as the Westover Country Club in Norristown. Was it Samschick and Core Realty? With his Penn Treaty Village and plans for the old Richmond Street warehouse just north of Delaware and Frankford Avenues, it seems extremely plausible.

North of the club is a bus parking lot, then the Penn Treaty Pennthouses

Meanwhile, directly across the street on the southeast corner of Fairmount and Delaware, an old former Municipal Asphalt building is for sale for $1.4M through Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation(PIDC), a group that handles sales of City properties. The City is open to discussing the site with potential buyers, but only those with development plans, not those with only land-backed buyers, according to Liz Gabor of PIDC.

Who wants it?

While neither of these parcels have specific plans designated for them in the recently completed Plan for the Central Delaware, general suggested uses for those sites include mixed-use retail, as they are located close to the Festival Pier and the Spring Garden Upland, one of the plan’s three major sites, according to Karen Thompson of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, which oversaw the plan.  That vision looks to extend Northern Liberties with mixed-use development and low-rise homes.

We think the old Municipal Works building would make a nice restoration, as does Thompson. But who knows if such a thing is viable. If a buyer invested $10M across the street, one can imagine that the old City-owned building might be purchased soon too. If it is Samschick, his waterfront plans seem to be materializing parcel by parcel. It will be interesting to see the process, if it does manifest, to change the face of the waterfront next to Northern Liberties.

--Lou Mancinelli