Buildings can stand out from the crowd for many reasons. Extreme height, grand design, topographical boosts from a hilltop can all lead buildings to have a disproportionately large impact. When driving east on Washington Ave. the other day, we couldn’t help but notice a large, yellow and green presence at 943 Washington Ave. off in the distance. In this instance, the location of this building near a kink at 11th Street on Washington Avenue, combined with the recent addition makes it easier to see why this new structure stands out so much. As a reminder, what used to stand here was the Bryant Coal company building, which we discussed all the way back in 2013 before heading back again last summer to check things out.

View of the Bryant Coal building way back in 1914
In the more recent past, looking a bit rough
Demo underway during our site visit in July 2021
View of the five-story building, looking east down Washington Ave.

While we don’t have any renderings, we do have a good idea of what will take place at this prominent corner. 24 units will make up floors 2-5 while a fresh food market will take the ground floor space. The inclusion of the market allowed the developers to build a bit higher to maximize density. Of course, if the property were appropriately zoned, we’d likely be getting a more appropriate ground-floor use just a block from the Italian Market. But so it goes.

943 Washington Ave. at full height, with the cornice already on
View across Washington looking northwest shows U shape of building
View of street level shows ample window openings to make commercial space more inviting
Elevation drawings show that more widows have been added since initial plans

This project is going up along a very busy stretch of Washington Ave., with the multi-phased Post Brothers project several blocks to the west, and the large mixed-use project at the Italian Market that we covered recently getting started just a block to the east. This South Philadelphia corridor is going through a large amount of change in a short time period, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the empty storefront to the west of this project sees some changes in the near future. Hopefully the upcoming repaving will make this part of Washington Avenue an even more enjoyable place to live and travel as the area continues to change in the coming years.

Current view of the partially vacant building to the west