There's no question that the 600 block of South Street has made some major strides of late. Some time ago, we wrote a post lamenting the alarming number of vacancies on this block. And we had a point. But years have passed and new places have arrived. European Republic, Serpico, and Sneaker Villa have collectively breathed new life into this once-tired block. But through it all, 600 South St. has stubbornly remained vacant.

This may be the only spot in the world where a McDonald's couldn't make it work. A couple of years ago, plans emerged for a 7-11 in this space, but the project fell through. The Root mural which appeared over the summer on the 1400 block of South Street was also planned for this location, but that likewise did not come to pass. Months ago, we told you that the building was undergoing renovations to create four apartments on the upper floors. That construction is still taking place, and it has also included the installation of new windows in the retail space. From what we can tell, it still hasn't attracted a tenant. But one would have to think that someone will eventually bite on the space, right?

The building back in 2006 after the McDonald's closed. Photo credit: Litter Box on Philadelphia Speaks

A couple of years ago

Recent shot

Meanwhile, just across the intersection is a retail space that's been vacant for only a short time, by comparison. 540 South St. was most recently home to a Clear retail outlet that we never understood, but before that it contained perhaps the only failed Subway franchise in America.

Vacancy on the southeast corner

What great recent history for this corner! We can only imagine what it will portend for the next businesses that decide to roost in one of these two locations. Keeping in mind that somebody will eventually lease these spaces, what do people want to see here? Something more upscale, like Serpico? Something more traditionally South Street, like a bar or cheesesteak shop? Something else entirely?