William Penn was really on to something when he laid out Philadelphia on a grid, as it makes navigating our town incredibly easy for residents and tourists alike. Even when you throw in the occasional Passyunk Avenue, it’s pretty tough to get lost in the core of our predictable city. One thing about those diagonal streets though, is that they occasionally create some unusual triangular pieces of real estate when they come very close to intersections. And we’ve seen a variety of uses for those triangles, like public space at 23rd, South, & Grays Ferry, or residential use at 6th, Catharine, & Passyunk, or retail at 21st, Reed, & Point Breeze. Well, the last use is theoretical in nature, as the building at 2101 Reed St. was used as a check cashing place for a number of years but has been sitting vacant for quite some time.
But perhaps this space won’t be sitting empty for long. Recently, a listing for the property appeared on Loopnet, advertising that it’s available for rent for $1,800/mo. The listing indicates that the building has about 500 sqft of space, already has venting, and could accommodate outdoor seating. This not only indicates that the space was once home to some kind of food business, but also suggests that it would make for an easier conversion into a new restaurant. There are, however, some challenges.
The first challenge is Point Breeze Avenue itself. After decades of dormancy, the corridor has seen some new businesses open up over the last few years. This has happened despite the fact that the corridor is underzoned, making it challenging for new businesses to open and for new mixed-use buildings to get in the ground. While plenty of residential new construction has happened south of Reed Street, we can’t think of much commercial development that’s happened this far south. So it would indeed be a tough move for a new business to open at the southern end of the improving part of the commercial corridor and get little to no commercial foot traffic from one direction.
Competition might be another issue. Tasty Toast is located pretty much across the street, where you see the green awning on the left side of the image above. Tasty Toast does breakfast and lunch with tremendous speed and at phenomenal prices. Certainly, if a sandwich shop were to open at 2101 Reed St., there would be some crossover in customer base and we’re not certain that there’s enough business to go around between two businesses on this block. Or else we’re way off base, and the restaurants would have a symbiotic relationship and help each other succeed. Still, it’s a risk factor to consider.
Do you think that a food business could make it work at this location? What kind of place would you like to see here?