Revisiting the Awful Shopping Center at 5th & Spring Garden

As development in Northern Liberties continues to fill in remaining vacant lots and former industrial spaces, the success of its redevelopment continues to bleed into the surrounding neighborhoods. As we've detailed, the growth in the neighborhood has extended beyond 6th Street into East Poplar, and has influenced the Franklin-Callowhill industrial district to the south. Despite this, an unquantifiable relic of the mid-20th Century government-led redevelopment lingers on to the bewilderment to all who encounter it: the [...]
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Main Street Project Coming Back From the Great Beyond?

On lower Main Street, after the movie theater, the unfortunate BridgeFive condo building, and the CVS that would fit in nicely in Cherry Hill, stands an old stone building which was originally built as a carriage house for a nearby mansion. In more recent times, the building was home to Forster Auto Repair, a business that was operating until just a few years ago, even though the building didn't appear to be in such great [...]
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What’s the Deal With the Vacant Lot at 3rd & Christian?

</seinfeld voice> Prominent empty lot But seriously, isn't it a little odd that 300 Christian St. is sitting undeveloped? It's a sizable parcel, measuring just shy of 10K sqft. These days, developers are gobbling up any and all vacant land in areas much farther from Center City and building stuff. And this is Queen Village! Sure, the parcel sits just on the other side of the street from the Meredith catchment, but Nebinger is a pretty [...]
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Little Lot Near Broad & Fitzwater Has Some Challenges

When we saw on the zoning calendar that 1343 Fitzwater St. was seeking a variance, we immediately suspected that the empty lot on the northwest corner of Watts & Fitzwater was getting redeveloped. But this wasn't an accurate suspicion. NW corner of Watts & Fitzwater 1343 Fitzwater St. is actually the northeast corner of this intersection, a vacant parcel that blends in a little more than the northwest corner, maybe because there's always cars parked on [...]
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Homes and Duplexes To Replace Another Industrial Building in South Kensington?

We can only imagine what South Kensington looked like when Gratz Fire Protection Services started their business at 241 W. Oxford St. in the last 1970s or the early 1980s. It must have been pretty rough. We suspect the neighborhood was mired in a state of decline back in those days, as industry was continuing its retreat from the city and residents were fleeing in droves. Surely this resulted in numerous vacant and blighted buildings of various sizes and shapes. [...]
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Warehouse is Gone on Memphis Street, Mixed-Use Building Coming Instead

A reader reached out to us the other day and gave us the heads up that a one-story warehouse at 438 Memphis St. was no more. Given the terrific location, mere steps from Palmer Park and Frankford Ave., it actually came as a bit of a surprise that this property hadn't been redeveloped previously. So we dug in to do a bit of research. In the past Current view The building that previously stood here [...]
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Farm For the City Dresses Up Thomas Paine Plaza

The Municipal Services Building (MSB) covers roughly 2/3 of the square block that's just to the northwest of City Hall, offering locals a one stop shop of bureaucratic hoops through which to jump. For example, you can pay your water bill at MSB, or grab a building permit, or apply to close your street for a block party, and depending on what you need to do, you might find yourself spending quite some time in the building's [...]
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Mixed-Use Building Under Construction Near Divine Lorraine

The southern section of the West Poplar neighborhood has undergone major changes over the last several years, with a mix of larger projects, like the Spring Arts Point development, and plenty of smaller, one-off infill. New construction has generally dried up in this neighborhood beyond Fairmount Avenue, mostly because the Richard Allen PHA homes run from 9th to 13th Streets, beginning at Fairmount. Further, the fact that the Divine Lorraine was sitting vacant and blighted for [...]
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No More Pallets at 5th & Cecil B?

There's something about a steamy July morning that makes us think about pallets. For your enjoyment, here are some pallet facts, thanks to Business Dictionary: Standard American pallets measure 4' by 4', but European pallets are typically rectangular in shape, measuring 1m x 1.2m. Who knew? Pallets can generally handle about a metric ton of weight, which explains why they're generally moved around on forklifts. Interesting! The terms skid and pallet are used interchangeably, though [...]
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Two Mega Lots Should Disappear in East Kensington

While East Kensington has become a booming neighborhood in terms of residential real estate development over the last handful of years, its history is distinctly industrial, like many other sections of Kensington. Most of the factories went belly up or moved away decades ago, and years of disinvestment in the neighborhood resulted in numerous old industrial buildings falling into disrepair and eventually getting demolished or burning down. Some of the former industrial sites have gotten redeveloped, with prominent examples including the [...]
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