Slowly and surely, the West Girard commercial corridor has taken a series of positive steps over the last handful of years, as developers have rehabbed old buildings and built new ones, and numerous businesses have opened up. Despite this, there are still plenty of empty storefronts on the corridor, and a bunch of vacant lots as well. If the owners of 2616-18 W. Girard Ave. get their way though, one of those lots will soon disappear in favor of some new construction. Check out the zoning notice posted to the property, a fine indication that there’s something cooking here.
The zoning notice suggests a plan to combine the two lots into one 4,000 sqft parcel, and to build a mixed-use five-story building with ground floor retail and 14 apartments on the upper floors. The zoning for this parcel, like much of the rest of the properties on this corridor, is CMX-2.5, which is fairly permissive in terms of height and density. That being the case, we were a little surprised that the project requires a zoning variance at all, but it appears that it’s a little taller than is permitted by right. If that’s the only refusal, we imagine the developers could reduce the ceiling heights a little bit and build according to the code. We’re pretty confident about that assertion because the developers listed the property for sale earlier this year for $1.3M, and the listing indicated that such a project could indeed get built by right. The listing also had a handy rendering of the project, done by CANNO Design.
In other words, we strongly believe that something like the building pictured above will get built on this property at some point in the near future. When that happens, it will be another great addition for the corridor, reminiscent of the Braverman building, which went up on the north side of the street just a couple years ago. And considering the eclectic architectural mix on these blocks, the fact that two of the largest buildings on the corridor will look so different makes sense to us.
Of course, the big fish in the neighborhood is the huge parcel just across the street to the west, which is still sitting vacant.
Remember, several years ago, MM Partners had a plan for this property that called for ten town homes and a large mixed-use building with over 14K sqft of retail space. But that project apparently fell through, and the property continues to sit. As the surrounding corridor continues to improve, the continued vacancy here becomes more and more surprising and we have to think that something will happen here, sooner than later. Has anyone in the neighborhood heard anything new?