Suit Corner held down the southwest corner of 3rd & Market for way longer than we can remember, selling sometimes garish suits at always reasonable prices. Shirt Corner, a similar store which we believe was owned by a member of the same family, had a similarly long run on the northeast corner of this intersection. A fire in 2014 moved Suit Corner to a new location a few blocks away, and Alterra Properties bought the building on the northeast corner and built the Shirt Corner Apartments project in its place. Sadly, as a result of these changes, both corners have lost a certain degree of character that will never be recaptured.
A reader recently reached out and gave us the heads up that a new sign had appeared at 302 Market St., indicating imminent construction for a new building. This parcel has been sitting vacant for the last few years, since the fire related demolition of the previous building. We can see, the owners of the property are planning a new two-story building for this location, and Shirt Corner will be operating out of both floors of the building. Does this mean that Shirt Corner is making a comeback and Suit Corner will remain in its other, distinctly non-corner location? Is this a situation where the owners of Suit Corner are changing the name of their business, and maybe focusing more on shirts? Maybe the family members that owned the two businesses are teaming up? We honestly have no clue.
What we do know is that we’re pretty disappointed that this parcel will only accommodate a two-story building that’s purely commercial in nature. Old City is plenty dense, but could always use more density, and it’s a shame that this building won’t go up two more stories and include a residential component. Also, a two-story building will look rather goofy, in between a pair of four-story buildings. But this project is happening by right, so there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
Speaking of the buildings on either side, you can probably tell from the image above that the building at 300 Market St. is now finished. This parcel previously housed half of the Suit Corner business, but other developers bought the property after the fire and built a mixed-use building with 12 units and retail on the first floor. We know that the retail space is leased, so look for that to get built out relatively soon. The apartments, which are quite small, are almost entirely leased as well.
Really, we’re probably most bummed that the developers at the corner couldn’t find a way to get together with the Shirt Corner people to collaborate on a larger building over the two properties. It seems like a missed opportunity at this prominent location, especially in light of the stumpy building that’s now in store for the property one off the corner. Unfortunately, when two different parties own adjacent parcels, they won’t necessarily see eye to eye, even if doing so would result in a finished product that’s ostensibly better than the alternative.