Historically, the large parcel at 2308 E. Tucker St. was the site of a public bath house, a place that allowed people in the neighborhood to wash themselves in an age before indoor plumbing was commonplace. As personal baths and showers became more of thing, bath houses faded away, and like some others we’ve pointed out previously, this particular bath house transitioned into a public pool. For reasons that we couldn’t tell you, the pool disappeared at some point in the last fifty years, and it was eventually replaced by a full court basketball court.

Albert Old
In the past

If you visit this property today, you’ll quickly notice that the basketball court is gone and there’s a large hole in its place. At first glance, we believed that this was simply another case of a public space under renovation, like we showed you nearby at the Hagert Playground. Considering the number of stormwater management projects we’ve seen, the large hole seemed to fit the bill for such an effort. But then we looked down into the hole and spied footers under construction, and quickly realized that this is no stormwater management project and that the basketball court ain’t coming back. Instead, seven homes are on the way.

Current view
Footers are underway

It’s becoming a more common sight to see the City selling off real estate, but it’s a bit out of the ordinary for the City to sell off a parcel that was being actively used as public recreation space. We were curious as to what happened here, so we took a look back at the Vacant Property Review Committee minutes from the last year, but came up empty. We then looked back a few years and still couldn’t find anything. Then we looked at City Council bills dating back to 2014, and we still couldn’t find any additional information on why the City decided to sell this property off to private developers. What we did learn is that this project has been a long time coming, as the developers got a zoning variance way back in 2015.

Neighborhood spot at the end of the block

Outside of questions about how the property ended up with developers in the first place, the project makes all kinds of sense. The project is happening on the northern fringe of the Olde Richmond neighborhood, just a couple blocks from East Kensington, in an area where we’ve seen several other projects over the years. The property itself runs street to street, which will allow the homes to have parking access from the rear, and that adds tremendous value to the homes. And sure, Frankford Avenue is a bit of a shlep, located roughly 6 blocks away, but there’s a great neighborhood pub called Cook and Shaker at the end of the block, so burgers, beer, and brunch are all close at hand. As for a basketball court, there’s one roughly three blocks away, at Cione Playground.