Vanquishing a Vacant Lot at 16th & Wallace?

It looks like the Spring Garden neighborhood could soon get a row of new homes, and we'd be willing wager that these homes will be on the shmancy side. For well over a decade, 1600 and 1602 Wallace St. have been sitting vacant, despite the fact that this is one of the more desirable neighborhoods ringing Center City. An upcoming zoning hearing could change things in a hurry for this property.

View of the property

According to the zoning notices posted on a chain link fence, developers are planning to subdivide the properties into four parcels and build four new homes which we believe would front 16th Street. Each home will be wider and shallower than the typical home, which will probably result floor plates that are relatively standard in size. The zoning application indicates that the homes will rise four stories and have front loading garages, telling us that the homes will have kitchens and living areas on the 2nd floor, with bedrooms on the upper floors.

This property has been owned by the local RCO, the Spring Garden CDC, since before Y2K. We would think that they're selling the lots to a developer that will build the homes, and if that's the case we have to assume that the community group will lend their support to the project, making it more likely to get approval at the ZBA. This follows a recent trend for SGCDC, which previously owned the Country Fresh Market building at 16th & Fairmount but sold it to MM Partners, who recently completed a total rehab of the property. 16th & Wallace may not be as prominent as 16th & Fairmount, but redevelopment here will still be a very positive step.

Some construction to the north

While we're in the area, this seems like a good time to point out some additional construction nearby. 614 N. 16th St. was also sitting empty for a long time, but construction recently got started here on a pair of triplexes. We actually thought we wrote about this property once before but it seems we were mistaken. But now we have, so there.

It's certainly encouraging to see new projects cropping up on 16th Street in this neighborhood. We only wish that we had some news about the long blighted Purvis House to the south, at 16th & Mount Vernon. Sadly, we haven't heard of any updates on the property since our last visit two years ago, when we told you nothing was happening over there. Ah, maybe in two more years, we'll have some better news to share.