Heavy equipment probably a sign

A few weeks back, we told you that a fence had appeared around a long-vacant former bar at Taney & Poplar. We hoped that this meant that the building would soon come down and be replaced by redevelopment. But considering the track record of the property's owners, we recognized that this could possibly take quite some time.

Fence went up recently

Passing by the other day, we spotted some heavy equipment on the lot next to the building, and a bunch of guys milling around next to it. Hopefully, this means that work will soon begin here, and the neighborhood can start the journey down the path to something new and productive at this site.

Guys milling around, and some construction equipment

Or else it will just be a larger vacant lot for the next decade, too. That is indeed a possibility as well.

Much much better

We last checked in on the corner of 19th & Webster back in November when conservators Scioli Turco were demolishing two long-blighted buildings. As the months have rolled along, the buildings have disappeared and new homes have been framed out.

In the past
New homes

Soon enough, these homes will be finished and sold, like so many other homes in the neighborhood over the last decade plus.

Could be nice someday

In the shadow of the Divine Lorraine at Ridge & Lemon stands the dilapidated and abandoned former Ed Tomlin Quality Silk Screen Printing building. Located at 1311-13 Ridge Ave., the roof of the building has collapsed into the first floor in the rear, and the three-story structure next door is blighted as well.

View from the south

We've wondered about this building and watched it continue to rot over the past two years as we've driven up Ridge towards Broad Street, imagining all our possibilities for the Divine Lorraine.  This whole triangular parcel here nestled between Ridge, 13th and Wallace could represent a fine opportunity for a developer looking to capitalize on the current string of redevelopment that has quietly revitalized a number of blocks in the West Poplar neighborhood over the last few years. The site has been owned by Edward Tomlin since he purchased it for $32K back in 1981.

Has a mixed-use future

It's still kind of flabbergasting to us that there are any blighted or vacant buildings in Old City. We've documented several over the years, and there are even more that we haven't touched on. Take, for instance, 18 N. 3rd St., which sits only a handful of steps from the corner of 3rd & Market which has seen considerable change in the last few months. You may recall, the former Shirt Corner building disappeared last month and will soon be replaced by a mixed-use project that includes a new CVS. And last week, the former Suit Corner went up in flames, and we can speculate that those buildings will likewise be demolished as a result.

Post fire
Nearby, 18 N. 3rd St., a little blurry

The other day, we spotted a dumpster outside of 18 N. 3rd St., a building which we've surely noticed in the past, but didn't necessarily realize was vacant. Looking at it though, it certainly doesn't look so great. Peering up at the facade, we see at least a couple of windows are missing.

Renovations and new construction repairing a long-blighted block

We've visited the 3000 block of Stiles Street several times in the last few years and the number of vacant blighted properties was always striking to us, especially considering the block's close proximity to the reinvigorated Girard Avenue corridor. Last summer, we told you about renovations to a couple of homes on this block, after previously mentioning work by Steph-Sin to rehab the easternmost home on the block's north side. Today, we have some more specifics on the renovation efforts here, from exactly who you would expect would be doing this kind of work in Brewerytown.

In the past

Stiles Row, from MM Partners, is rescuing four properties on this block through renovation and new construction. Check it out:

Something, yes.

A year and a half ago, we wondered about a blighted and vacant double-wide building at 2619-21 Poplar St. which, based on some leftover signage, was apparently once home to a drinking establishment called the Old English Tavern. About a week ago, neighbors first noticed a fence up around the property, prompting half a dozen emails to us, wondering what's going on here. We zipped by and noted that the excellent sign that previously marked the property has disappeared.

But it's getting bigger

We last checked in on 718-24 S. 2nd St. about three years ago. At the time, the three buildings stuck out on this historic block like a sore thumb. They looked like somebody had built some new homes out of cinderblocks, blocked the window openings, left to buy a pack of cigarettes or something, and never came back. And if you look at them today, you would be inclined to believe that nothing has changed.

View on 2nd Street

Over a year ago, a new developer purchased the properties pictured above at sheriff's sale, leading us to believe that work would soon begin again. New permits have been posted, as have new Stop Work Orders. Neighbors who have been living with this situation for many years are surely wondering whether the project to build nine condos with eight parking spaces will ever come to fruition. And in the meantime, the Monroe Street section of this development seems to be rotting away.

Longtime blight will go away

A couple of months ago, we gave you the good news that one of the two long-vacant buildings at Frankford & Wildey would soon be leasing apartments as Frankford Lofts. At the time, we lamented that the former hosiery factory across the street at 1101 Frankford Ave. remained as vacant and blighted as ever, despite new owners as of late 2012.

The building

We first brought this property to your attention back in the summer of 2012, telling of its tax delinquency and complex legal situation. We also mentioned that it was an elevator factory at one point. We checked back in last May, when a reader spotted dumpsters at the property, and we were hopeful that change was coming soon. It's been pretty much status quo ever since, but a new zoning notice we spotted the other day suggests that change could be in the air.

It's about time

We could have sworn we wrote about 2110 Christian St. like two years ago, but for whatever reason we can't find the story in our archives. To make a not so long story even shorter, the property has been blighted and boarded up for many years, under the not-so-caring stewardship of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. The home next door, privately owned, has been in only slightly better condition through the years. The rest of the block is pretty attractive, with one of our favorite rehabs in the neighborhood at the end of the block.

In the past

Passing by over the weekend, wading through Erin Express crowds, we discovered that both 2108 and 2110 Christian St. are now under construction! Can you believe it?


Ten years ago, redevelopment north of Girard Avenue in Brewerytown seemed like it might never arrive. Nevertheless, from 1999-2007 the median residential sales price of homes in the neighborhood rose nearly four times from just over $10K to over $40K, according to U.S. Census Data compiled by the Philadelphia Neighborhood Information System, as reported by Philadelphia Neighborhoods.

Jump up to 2012 at 27th & Girard, and you have the scenario where the historic St. Augustine's Church first constructed in 1888, sold to developer Jordan Brody. Brody is now converting the church into apartments. Part of the church extends up N. 27th Street where it meets a vacant lot and is followed by a string of vacant homes.