Maybe two years ago, we drew your gaze to 715 E. Passyunk Ave., a triangular parcel created by Passyunk Avenue blazing its diagonal path into 5th Street. We shared a little history of this 1,100 sqft property, noting that it was used as a gas station back in the day, and featured a water ice business much more recently. For more than a decade though, the little commercial building on the south side of the property sat vacant and the parking lot on the north side was used for parking. So we were rather excited, back then, to learn that the parcel was listed for sale for $400K, hoping that a sale would result in redevelopment.
As you can surely surmise based on the fact that we’re writing about this property again, the parcel did indeed trade, selling for $325K at the end of last year. Construction is already underway.
We imagine that the new owners had the property under contract for quite some time, but with a zoning contingency, as we can see they got a variance from the ZBA back in May of 2019. Plans call for a mixed-use building with two units above retail, which is permitted by right. But given the funky dimensional elements of the property, we imagine the developers needed variances for height and open area. Ambit Architecture did the design work for the project, and we have to imagine it must have been a treat for the architects to plan out such a uniquely shaped structure. Check out these renderings, which Ambit is calling Petit Coin. Our French isn’t great, but we’re pretty sure that translates to “Little Coin.” If you think about coins, originally they were flattened pieces of iron. Get it? Flatiron? Genius!
Just kidding. Petit Coin translates to “Little Corner,” which is exactly what this building will accentuate. We have to think that it’s because of this little corner that the property sat underused for so many years, awaiting a developer willing to embrace its odd shape and an architect willing to do the same. If everything works out, a French bistro on the first floor would truly complete the picture. For what it’s worth, we’d accept a French bakery too.