As we’ve mentioned in the past, the Philadelphia Department of Public Property is selling off a small number of individual lots and vacant buildings owned by different city departments. One such lot, 1121 Catharine St., was purchased about a year ago for $65,100 by Metro Titan Acquisitions.

In the past

The lot had some shrubs, grass, and a little mural on the bottom of the wall of the building next door. In the past few months, a new residential building has risen on this site.

Looks different

From across the street

We’re not huge fans of stucco bays, but we’re always mesmerized by bay windows that project off of a corner as they do above. Whether you like how it looks or not, the new building is a testament to the success of this still ongoing project from Public Property. A once vacant, albeit well-tended corner will soon contain a house with new residents who will be just a stone’s throw away from a new park. Though we imagine there will be a tax abatement, this building, over the course of its useful life, will directly lead to the contribution of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city’s coffers.

So now we’re wondering: Can this program get bigger? From what we can tell, Public Property has sold thirty properties through this process, with twenty more in the pipeline. So that’s about fifty over the course of a year plus? How ’bout we double that number in the year to come?

From what we can gather, that’s got everything to do with City Council.

So… we’re not holding our breath.

In case you’re curious, here‘s a list of properties that are currently open for bid and those that have previously sold.