A reader reached out to us the other day, having noticed a demolition notice posted on a building just south of the intersection of 9th & McKean. The suspicion here was that a sizable project was in the works, since this corner is dominated by an auto shop called Mike’s Car Care. Certainly, when we visited the property, that was our initial expectation as well.

We saw a demo notice
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Looking west on Emily Street
Auto garage next door, not a part of it

At least as of this moment, the auto garage isn’t going anywhere. It turns out, Mike’s is located at 900 McKean St., which is a totally different parcel than 2012 S. 9th St., the location of the demo notice. To the naked eye, they look like they’re part of the same property and from the looks of a historic map which indicates that Penn Syrup was once located here, they probably were at one point. Today, however, the northern property is used for car repair and the southern is just used as warehouse and storage space. Well, it was, but presumably it’ll stop being used for those purposes by the time the demo crew shows up.

2012 S. 9th St., is a 4,300 sqft parcel which was purchased by developers for $260K back in 2015. And then it traded for $510K in 2018. Those developers took the property through the zoning process, getting a variance to build six homes on the property. With a variance in hand, they listed the property for $880K, but withdrew it from the market without finding a buyer. Assuming they’re holding onto the property, they still need to go through the permitting process, so figure any construction is at least half a year away. That being said, since there’s a demolition notice posted, it’s safe to assume that the building that’s there now will soon disappear.

As for the homes that replace it, we’re inclined to look two blocks to the west, to the Roman Square project, as a strong comp. Those homes, which are selling in the low to mid $700K range, include parking and are a little closer to Passyunk Avenue. So maybe the homes on 9th Street will sell in the high $500K range? While we wish many years of continued success to Mike’s Car Care, it does seem like a bit of a missed opportunity that these developers weren’t able to utilize the larger parcel to the north to create another row of homes and a drive aisle to service the development. Not only would it have made the project more attractive to the people in the area who are worried about parking, but it would have also pumped up those sale prices by quite a bit.