It's been a long road for 1843 E. Passyunk Ave., for decades home to King of Jeans. We first brought this property to your attention back in the summer of 2011, announcing that it was listed for sale but noting that the price was too high and the triangular shape of the parcel could present challenges for a future developer.

We miss ya, buddy

Within a year, a developer had come forward (at a lower price than asking) with a plan to demolish the building and build twelve apartments with first-floor commercial space. Then plans changed to nine apartments, second floor office space, and first floor commercial. In 2013, Rockland Capital bought the property and proposed sixteen apartments above retail space, but that project was denied at the ZBA. After some fine tuning and efforts from the community, a revised project with twelve apartments, second floor office space, and ground floor commercial got approval from the ZBA a little less than two years ago. Finally, at the beginning of 2015, the amazing sign came down and the building followed soon after.

Since then, it's been nothing doing at the site until very recently. A couple weeks ago, a reader tipped us off that construction had begun. We passed by over the holiday weekend and discovered a relatively new hole in the ground.

Excavator at the site

Looking up Passyunk Avenue

This five-story mixed-use project will be a nice addition for Passyunk Avenue, but with all the good stuff that's already here it will hardly be a game changer. We're always satisfied to see good projects move forward, but we're particularly tickled when projects get out of the ground after many years of twists and turns. It's true that Passyunk Avenue is missing some character with the loss of the King of Jeans sign, but hopefully the benefits of the new building will make up for it in some small way. And for those that really miss the old sign, they can always purchase a wearable facsimile.