We’ve checked in on the huge property at 814 Spring Garden St. a couple times over the years, each time predicting redevelopment for this building, which was a Fedex terminal for a long time. Back in 2012, we told you about a plan to build a three story addition to the existing building, with 66 apartments on the upper floors and flea market space downstairs. Those plans evolved by 2015, when we told you about a new concept that included a four-story addition, 140 apartments, 127 parking spots, and six separate commercial spaces. If the first idea was solid, the second was even better, given the improving prospects of Spring Garden Street and the eventual Rail Park on the nearby Reading viaduct. Sadly though, and for reasons we don’t know, neither plan has moved forward.
At the end of last year though, something finally did happen here, and it’s quite a change of pace from what the previous proposals would have had us expect. This building is now home to Phield House, a large indoor sports facility. Specifically, Phield House has a high school sized basketball court, a pair of turf fields, and a couple of batting cage tunnels.
Though they’ve only been around for a few months, they already have a robust list of programs. Offerings include adult fitness and yoga classes, numerous programs for kids that range from music classes for infants to sports classes for pre-school and up kids, sports clinics, and sports camps. Their website indicates that they host kids’ birthday parties, but we imagine they’d work in a grown-up birthday party too, if you ask nicely.
This block of Spring Garden Street is a little funny, with the viaduct running over the street nearby and the Traffic Court building located next door. That being the case, this kind of facility seems to make sense at this location, perhaps even more sense than the previous proposals for the property. The fact that the proposed 30-unit six-story building at 900 Spring Garden St. was withdrawn from ZBA consideration a few months back would seem to drive that point home. Eventually, things could change once the Rail Park construction makes its way over here. Until that happens though, at least there’s a sweet indoor sports facility for all of us to enjoy.