Ah, the heady days of 2011. The iPhone 4 was state of the art. The Phillies were still good at baseball. And MM Partners were renovating two buildings on the corner of Taney & Girard. The project was called 'The Braverman Building,' named after a hardware store and bakery that once occupied the property. There were plans for two businesses run by chef Mike Stollenwerk- a sit-down BYOB and a take-out prepared foods market. Six apartments were on the agenda for the upper floors.
Three years ago
For the last couple of years, though, the project seemed stalled, with the buildings basically looking like they do in the photo above. Last week, we passed by this corner and to our surprise the buildings were gone.
Disappointed to see these handsome buildings demolished, we reached out to MM Partners to get the scoop. We learned that the change of plans stemmed from structural problems with the buildings that were discovered as they were doing interior demolition in preparation for a renovation. In addition, Stollenwerk is no longer attached to this project. Now, the developers have plans for a new five-story mixed-use building which will look something like this:
618 South St. was recently granted a zoning variance that will transform it from the eye-catching glowing lemon-lime colored former 6th St. Mini-Market to a take out/dine in Chinese restaurant. As we noted a few weeks ago, the 600 block of South St. is full of vacancies, and it looks like one will be filled in the near future.
This space has cycled through many concepts, including Inferno Body Piercing, Metro PCS, OK Bakery, M2 Men's Clothing, South Street Kitchen, and Ace Young International Jewelry... just to name a few. We're hoping the new concept sticks around for a couple of minutes, at least.
Mike Stollenwerk, who arrived on the local scene in 2007 when he took over Little Fish, has been moving at a frenetic pace recently, opening Fish and Fathom Seafood House in the past two years, and apparently opening a larger Fish in the near future. He has another project coming down the pike, and this time he'll be making his magic happen in Brewerytown. The new space at 2617-19 W Girard Ave. is gigantic- you could probably fit five Little Fishes in the first floor of the building. Stollenwerk will be executing two concepts here- one side will be a sit-down BYOB, and the other side will be a take-out prepared foods market. If this sounds a little high-end for Brewerytown, it's because it is. There's nothing like it in the neighborhood, but Stollenwerk is betting that it's going to work.
He's getting nothing but encouragement from the developers of the property, MM Partners, who have been extremely active redeveloping properties in Brewerytown over the past several years. Most of their past projects have similarly been rehabs of buildings on Girard Ave., but they've more recently begun working on individual new construction houses as well as larger-scale modular development, like the upcoming North 28.