The northeast corner of Broad & Alter has been sitting, underused for as long as we can remember. Over the last five years or so, the property has sat vacant and overgrown, surrounded by a construction fence. On the positive side of the ledger though, the property did feature a sweet 76ers-themed mural which we don’t imagine was commissioned by Mural Arts.
Until five years ago, some of this property was used as a surface parking lot (booo) while the rest was home to a business called Big Boy’s Toys and then 718 Motoring, both of which operated as auto garages that specialized in souping up cars with a focus on fancy rims. Much as we love eye catching cars, neither the surface parking lot nor the one story commercial building qualified as the highest and best use for this prominent South Broad Street address.
So we were quite pleased, in 2016, to share the news that developers had purchased the property and were planning the build a six-story building here. The commercial building had already gotten torn down in preparation, so we figured it wouldn’t be long before a new building with 53 apartments, 2,000 sqft of commercial space, and 14 parking spot appeared on the scene. Alas, as is sometimes the case with this stuff, the property sat vacant and undisturbed over the last several years. We feared that the proposed development would never come to pass, or that something less exciting might get proposed in its place.
But wait! What’s that we see??? Is that… digging?
Oh yeah, this thing is happening. Looking at the permits, it appears that the plans have not changed since the original project came down the pike, though we can’t guarantee that the building will look like the three-year-old rendering above. Still, it will be a positive step forward for this location, which is still trying to get over the loss of the Papa Johns locations next door. Alas, anyone craving some garlic dipping sauce is going to have to order from locations much farther away, or <gasp> forego the dipping sauce and order from any of the other dozens of closer and superior pizza joints. It is a shame though, that the developers at the corner won’t be integrating that property into their project, it would have been nice to see something a little larger at this corner.