If you’re looking to buy a desk, dresser, or couch, there’s no shortage of places to make such a purchase in our fair city. Ikea is a tried and true choice, offering relatively inexpensive yet highly functional furniture that will surely survive one move but might not make it through a second or a third. Downtown, Chestnut Street has several spots within a few blocks of Broad Street. Ditto Main Street in Manayunk, where a few stores are located in close proximity, allowing for comparison shopping (and negotiation, if you’re into that sort of thing). Perhaps the most unique furniture store in town is located in an unassuming warehouse at the northeast corner of 2nd & Cecil B Moore. The aptly named Mid-century Furniture Warehouse is one of the rare businesses that is exactly what it says it is- a warehouse that sells Mid-century furniture.
This business has been operating for a little over a decade, offering vintage furniture from the middle of the 20th century and specializing in Scandinavian furniture as well. The store is open to the public twice a month, and according to a Philly.com story from a few years back, they turn over their inventory each time they open, selling the unsold items at auction. They sell some amazing pieces, and never fail to draw a crowd despite the location in the middle of South Kensington. While this might not be a prime location for a furniture store, it is incredibly desirable for other uses, like an apartment building. So… you can probably guess where this is going.
Developers purchased this building a little over a year ago, paying a surprisingly low $800K for the 18K sqft parcel. Those developers are planning to tear down the existing structure and construct a mixed-use building in its place, per their CDR presentation. This project calls for a six-story building with 92 apartments, 9,500 sqft of retail space, and 32 underground parking spots. Thanks to the aforementioned CDR presentation, we are able to share the renderings above, designed by SgRA.
But it appears that this exact project won’t be moving forward. The property is zoned for a mix of commercial and industrial uses, which means that the project needs approval from the ZBA in order to move forward. It was listed on the ZBA agenda for the end of the month, but it appears to have been withdrawn, and we couldn’t tell you why. We have to imagine that this is just a hiccup, and some variation of the previously proposed project will proceed here in the relatively near future. As for the Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse, we hope this will mean relocation and not the end of the road. That place is pretty awesome and it would be a big loss if it were to close down.