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.
When we first brought the property to your attention, we noted that it was owned by John Graveley, a member of the same family that owns the large vacant lot next door and other poorly maintained properties in the area. We also didn't spot any violations on the property. But that has changed. According to L&I, the owners have been taken to Blight Court because they haven't addressed an outstanding Doors & Windows violation. The court has fined them, and recommended that they either correct the violations with windows or obtain a permit to otherwise deal with the violations. As such, they've applied for demolition permits, which are still being reviewed.
The only zoning they're asking for is to turn the parcel into a vacant lot. A reader heard through the grapevine about possible plans for condos and retail here, but the owners have not applied to build anything at this time, just to demolish. While the building could probably be salvaged and likely has some character under the stucco and vinyl, we imagine that near neighbors will probably be glad to see it go. As for when we can expect to see the property redeveloped, we wouldn't wager on it happening soon. Philadelphia Speaks had some buzz about major development here last year, but we'd more likely expect the parcel to continue to sit for the foreseeable future. Sad but true.
Anyone else wondering what happened to the sign?