development opportunity

Could it be a development opportunity?

We never would have visited the bottom of Point Breeze Avenue if a reader hadn't reached out recently, wondering about the huge vacant lot that's located where the road ends at 28th Street. Always down for an adventure, we made the trip down to the area to see what all the fuss is about with this property, which is almost 44K sqft in size. We can't say we found out much.

Huge lot

Investors purchased 2117 S. 28th St. a couple years ago for under $100K and earlier this year listed it for sale for around $600K. On the plus side, the parcel is enormous and would accommodate roughly 120 residential units by right. On the other side of the coin, it's in a location that would probably not support market rate development at this point in time. I-76 is just a couple blocks to the west and the 25th Street viaduct is a couple blocks in the other direction. To the immediate south is a vast PHA development. Thinking about it further, we're not sure that market rate will ever work here, but we could see this parcel eventually getting developed as affordable housing.

A home would seem like a better idea

If you went to Drexel, it's possible you once lived or went to a party on the 3200 block of Winter Street. If you didn't, we'll forgive you if you've never set foot on this little block, whose eastern end is mere steps from those pesky railyards that separate this section of West Philly from the Schuylkill River. At that eastern end, at 3201 Winter St., sits a building that doesn't really seem to fit in with the rest of the buildings on the block. And we're not talking about an ugly new construction student housing building for a change.

Shed at 3201 Winter St.
Looking west on Winter Street

All the homes on this block are twins that date back to the end of the 19th century, but sadly, 3203 Winter St. lacks a twin. Instead, it has a crappy looking, stucco-coated shed sitting next door. So... where did this thing come from?

We told you to buy this property two years ago!

About two years ago, we brought 4328-44 Ridge Ave. to your attention, noting that the 42K sqft property was available for sale for $1.5M. Mostly because of the location right next to the Schuylkill River, we believed that there was a development opportunity at this address, despite the fact that the two buildings on the property reminded us of an old hotel in the Catskills. We predicted office use, but were still hopeful for a residential conversion.

Passing by the property earlier today, we not only discovered that the property is now under construction, but we also learned that it is indeed moving toward residential use. Huzzah!

Then again, maybe not

As Pennsport continues to boom, developers have been building up Dickinson Narrows just to the west of the neighborhood. V2 Properties in particular has done a ton of work in this area, with projects on Mercy, Dudley, Emily, and Hoffman Streets, among others. On the 400 block of Hoffman Street, we see one such property which sold last year for $280K.

A new home on the 400 block of Hoffman Street

Around the corner from this home, we noticed a "For Sale" sign on a row of buildings on 5th Street. Considering all the construction that's happened in the area in recent years, we thought it might represent a development opportunity for somebody.

For Sale signs on the buildings

You can see, there are three buildings in a row which look alike, so we figured that all are available. We also suspected that the vacant lot at the corner, now housing a storage container, was also available. Checking the listings, we discovered that the corner isn't actually available and the buildings available for sale aren't actually an opportunity after all. 1907-1911 S. 5th St. were a development opportunity less than a year ago, when we believe a developer purchased them along with another building half a block away for a combined $350K. Now, each of the buildings are listed for $280K, or the package can be yours for $1.12M.

Former warehouse could make a great conversion

The 2000 block of Trenton Avenue contains a bit of an odd mix, with one side of the block lined with houses built in the last half dozen years, and the other side (mostly) home to relics to the neighborhood's industrial past. Here's what we mean:

One side of the street
Across the street, with a skyline view as a bonus

If one of the homes pictured above were available for sale it wouldn't make for much of a story. Good thing we're telling you about an old warehouse instead.

2045 Trenton Avenue

2045 Trenton Ave. has actually been on the market a couple of months at a list price of $699K but we only noticed it this week (sorry folks). Looking at some historic maps, a chair manufacturer made its home here many moons ago, and we're pretty sure the building was intially built as a hosiery mill. Now, it's available for you to turn into the former warehouse of your dreams.

Build your dream home in Wash West!

Have you always wanted to live in the Washington Square West neighborhood but you've never been able to find the right home for you? Do you have many millions of dollars and a craving for new construction? Would you also dig on the idea of building a dream home for yourself and some well heeled friends? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then we may have just the development opportunity for you. Recently, a listing for 1325 Rodman St. came across our desk and the property has quite a bit of redevelopment potential.

What could get built here?

Zipping down Delaware Avenue today, definitively not on our way to Sugarhouse, a billboard advertising a real estate auction stopped us in our tracks.

Sign that caught our attention

In case you can't get a good look from the sign, it's announcing that a 65K sqft parcel with CMX-3 zoning is going up for auction with May 11th as the deadline to submit a bid. The parcel is question is 1143-51 N. Delaware Ave., and it's pretty much what it looks like in the picture above. It's rather skinny but impossibly deep, running all the way to the Delaware River.

View from above

Penn Treaty Park is located immediately to the north, and the warehouse next door belongs to the Henry Stewart Company, distributing rigging products since 1905. A little further south you'll find Sugarhouse, with its flashy new parking garage apparently finished.

For someone else, actually

We're always on the lookout for interesting development opportunities around town, and it certainly helps us out when real estate agents post signs that really hammer it home. Such is the case at 251 N. 12th St., a vacant lot at the corner of 12th & Vine that has been used as a skinny surface parking lot for many years. We were zipping down 12th Street the other day and a prominent sign caught our eye all the way from the other side of the Vine Street Expressway.

Odd shape presents a challenge

A reader tipped us off recently about 126-32 Dickinson St., a large Pennsport property that's currently available for sale. Passing by the property, you can see a two-story building and a fenced area on Dickinson Street and you'd never imagine that the property spans over a quarter of an acre.

View on Dickinson

To the west of the property there are older two-story homes. To the east is I-95 and a collection of homes built about ten years ago. One of those homes recently sold for over half a million, giving an indication of what potential developers might consider when penciling out a project next door. The big challenge with this property, and the reason we bring it to you instead of buying it ourselves, is the odd shape of the parcel. The listing provides a drawing that shows what we mean.

Price seems a wee bit high

A reader recently tipped us off about 1931-37 W. Passyunk Ave., a large building around the corner from Nick's Roast Beef. It's possible that they emailed us because they happened upon the listing while looking for who knows what on the internet, and there's a chance they contacted us because they know the owner or the realtor and they're trying to get the property some attention. But in this case, the motivations don't matter to us! Here, check out the property:

Current view

Wow, this thing looks lousy. One would have to think it looked nicer back in the day. But now... yikes. The two-story brownstone next door retains most of its character, even though the first-floor window is boarded up. Both properties are currently listed for sale in a single package, with an asking price of $950K. The current listing indicates that the property has about 3,700 sqft of land, and old listings show that the buildings were once home to a beauty school, a furniture store, and a catering hall upstairs. But it's the rendering that really makes the listing pop.

Amazing rendering

This rendering is just so confusing.