A reader just tipped us off about some new construction on 11th Street, just north of Christian, so we figured we'd check it out. These blocks are really well established, so it's pretty unusual to see much construction. But our readers are amazingly honest and this was no exception.
Previously, there was a three story building here with some classy fiberglass awnings. Unfortunately, in all the old images from Google Streetview the building is blocked by a tree, so we can't show you what it looked like- you'll just have to take our word for it that it looked kinda crappy. Looking at an old listing, we discovered a classic South Philly grandma house, replete with wood paneling, drop ceilings, and colorful old bathrooms.
Developers purchased the property at the beginning of this year and could have done a gut renovation if they hadn't torn down the old building. But considering their plan is to construct a four-story quadplex, it's probably for the best that they're starting from scratch. Since the lot is enormous and zoned for multi-family use, this is a by-right project. Should be interesting to see whether they opt for rentals (our vote) or condos.
Around the corner, we noticed some pretty lousy looking structures on the 1100 block of Christian Street. Actually, 1109 and 1111 Christian St. have both looked pretty bad for years, though we'd guess that both properties are occupied. The latter property is owned by the same guy that owns the weird former gas station on the southwest corner of 11th & Christian. Years ago, we wondered/hoped that this parcel would get redeveloped but it sadly looks exactly the same as it did back in 2011.
We don't imagine that the new construction around the corner will result in any change for the lousy looking buildings or the vacant lot, but we can continue to hold out hope. As we mentioned before, the vacant lot could accommodate four new homes and was listed for sale about a decade ago for $700K. It hasn't come back on the market in the years that have passed since we last visited, and according to a commenter the owners aren't looking to sell.