View from Wharton St., looking to the north

A reader sent us a tip about a building going up at Broad and Wharton, next door to the Lukoil gas station. When we swung by, we snapped a couple of photos.

Looking from the west from across Broad St.

According to an expired real estate listing, this property has the necessary zoning to construct a four story building with commercial space on the first floor and three residences, each occupying an entire floor, on the the floors above. With a 21′ wide and 113′ deep lot, that use sounds entirely reasonable, and if this building were going up most anywhere else, it would seem entirely sensible too.

But it’s the specific location of this building that makes its construction so questionable. On one side of the building is a gas station. While this won’t be disastrous for whatever business goes on the first floor, it seems like an unbelievably horrible location for the three apartment units. Who wants gasoline vapors coming through their windows? Ugh. On the other side of this building is a vacant armory building that has barely been used for decades. While redeveloping this building would be a fabulous opportunity, its future is currently in question and at present it seems to be falling apart from the inside.

There appears to be a water problem in the building

Will the residential units be condos? Rentals? How is the developer going to sell or rent these units? How low can they be priced? And what if the armory building collapses in the meantime? According to a neighbor across the street, Lukoil had serious interest in purchasing the vacant lot to expand and improve their convenience store, but the neighborhood shot it down. Seems like a much better idea to us than what’s going up instead. In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye on the building and find out more if possible. If you like murals, we suggest heading over there soon- we figure by this time next week, the Sinatra mural on the south side of the armory building will be covered up for good.