Last night, we spotted a couple of guys working on the inside of the now vacant space, and we asked them about the new tenant. They didn't have much info, except that the space would soon be occupied by an office of some kind. This is certainly not the most exciting news for the ever-growing South Street West corridor, but it's still nice to see the space filled so quickly. Hopefully, the landlord for the former Baja Room space will have the same luck, though perhaps with a tenant that has a little more appeal for the corridor. We shall see.
It's been nearly two years since we last visited 1526 S. 10th St., a one-story building with dreams of a taller life. When we were here the last time, the building was only one story tall, with a tarp on the roof. But plans were in the works for a three story addition, and a conversion into a large home.
In the past
It's been radio silence on this property for months on end, but just recently a reader gave us the heads up that something was finally happening on this site.
Less than nine months ago, we brought you the news that Philly Cupcake had opened their doors on the southeast corner of 20th & South. At that time, we guessed that they would do a pretty good business in this space, with South Street foot traffic along with people walking up 20th Street to get to and from work in Center City. The growing toddler contingent in the area also gave us a sense that the place would be able to make it work here.
Alas, it seems a disagreement with the landlord has resulted in Philly Cupcake closing their doors at this location. According to a note left on the door, however, they'll be
maintaining their location on Chestnut Street and will soon open locations in West Philly and North Philly.
A few months ago, construction finally got underway on this project from RPM Builders, designed by Harman Deutsch. In case you don't recall, the project calls for two 10-unit buildings side-by-side, with parking in between them. So far, the building on the corner of 2nd & Jefferson is fully framed, and work has begun on the building to the east. As you can see, these structures are four stories tall.
According to the L&I Map, a day care will be taking over this space in the near future. While we're glad to hear it won't continue to sit vacant, it's a shame that it won't be returning to an active retail use for everyone in the neighborhood.
For over a decade, there's been a Starbucks on the southeast corner of 16th & Walnut. And for as long as we can remember, there's been a vacant commercial space immediately to its south. We always kind of thought it curious that such a highly trafficked location would sit vacant for years, but sometimes that stuff just happens. But no longer.
Starbucks from the south and its new neighbor
That's right folks, Philly has a second Lite Choice, joining the location at 2nd & South that opened last year. Stop in sometime soon and choose from over eighty flavors! Or just stop in over eighty times and save yourself from having to make any tough choices! Either way, get there soon- the weather will start cooling down before you know it.
It was probably a year ago that we first noticed that Rittenhouse Cleaners at 1703-05 Pine St. had closed down, though the long-time business was apparently closed for at least a year prior, if Google Street View is to be believed.
Two years ago
Recently, we've noticed that the storefront has looked increasingly shabby, and have found ourselves wondering how such a prime retail space could sit vacant for so long. After passing by today, we were finally inspired to do a little digging, and we may have stumbled upon some good news.
At 5th & Thompson, a block north of Girard, we present to you what one might call a four-star corner.
At the southeast corner of this intersection is a huge vacant lot, across the street from the wonderful and charming Taco Riendo. The lot is actually six separate parcels, all owned by members of the Erlich family, which has owned them since the late 1980s. There was a deed transfer in 2012 from Jacob Erlich to Harvey and Eli Erlich, indicating that the family is at least aware that they own these properties, despite not having done anything with them in over two decades. Looking at public record, the City was, curiously, not charging them property tax until 2011 for these properties, which might partially explain the lack of development. Unfortunately, the failed land valuation that will accompany AVI will dramatically undervalue these lots, which will continue to disincentivize development.
All winter, we had been wondering what the deal was with a ground-floor retail space at 4100 Chester Ave. in a building that houses a few tenants, including The May School at the University of the Sciences. From what we understand, the space has been vacant for nearly a decade. This fall, however, a Dunkin Donuts will open here.
Though the site is zoned for commercial purposes, a zoning exception was required for take-out. That exception is usually automatic as long as it's not a detriment to the neighborhood, said Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) zoning chair Barry Grossbach. SHCA members arranged a meeting between neighbors and the folks opening the Dunkin Donuts in order to discuss the proposal. Neighbors raised some concerns about a chain store, as documented in this Philly Magazine mention. Don't those neighbors know that American runs on Dunkin? What's next, will they want to deny children the right to bring in munchkin Donuts to school on their birthday?
For over thirty years, the Artful Dodger made its home at the southwest corner of 2nd & Pine, until closing its doors last November. This space, located at the top of Headhouse Square, clearly has plenty of history, apparently serving as barracks for the Continental Marines way back when, according to a commenter on Philly.com. But in more recent years, it was a pub, existing as Head House Tavern going back to at least the 1960s, according to photos we found on Phillyhistory.org.