A reader tipped us off over the weekend after noticing a demolition notice on the northwest corner of 13th & Reed, across the street from Columbus Square Park. This two-story property at 1340 S. 13th St. is used for a few different things according to an old permit, with an auto shop taking up some of the space, Mummer storage in another part of the building, and most prominently, Theatre Exile making its home in the largest space.
This theater company has been around for twenty years, and we called their box office to find out what's going on. The person that we spoke with was short on details, but indicated that Theatre Exile would remain in the building through the end of their season and that they planned to move to a new location rather than shut down. As to where that new location will be and how quickly the move will take place, we don't know. But we were cheered to learn that the upcoming demolition for this building won't mean the end of an important part of the Philadelphia arts community.
With news that this building will be demolished, it leads us to wonder what will replace it. And in that regard, our information is unfortunately incomplete. A zoning permit was issued last month for a new building that will be constructed by-right which will not go above 38', telling us to expect a three-story mixed-use building. The permit indicates that at least 60% of the building will be covered by a green roof, which will allow the developers a density bonus, increasing the permitted number of units from 18 to 25. That being said, we don't know exactly how many units they'll include, nor do we know what kind of business is planned for the first floor. Frankly, we're surprised that the developers didn't go the townhome route, as nine homes would fit nicely here. Then again, if the developers are happy with the by-right project, far be it from us to recommend that they change their plan to one that would entail a visit to the ZBA.
Whatever exact project ultimately gets built here, the apartments will be very desirable. As we mentioned, Columbus Square Park is right across the street and living across from a green space is a good situation if you can swing it (so we've heard). Across the street to the south is the excellent and underrated Faragalli's Bakery, serving some of the best long rolls this side of Sarcone's. And with Broad Street just a block to the west and all the good stuff on Passyunk Avenue just three blocks to the east, just about anyone would want to live on this corner. Still, we wonder what business will occupy that first floor. What kind of establishment would you like to see here?