While we were out taking photos in Fishtown the other day, we chanced upon a blighted building and a vacant lot at the corner of Thompson & Colona. Plants climb from the ground to the roof in between the small yard and an evergreen colored fence is painted with what might be explosions of azaleas.


While you might not guess it at first, the property at 1244 E Colona St. actually contains three buildable lots, with two lots fronting Colona and one that fronts Susquehanna. Next door to that backyard is a renovated home that was dilapidated a few years ago, according to Google Earth images from a few years ago. Now it features a cozy second floor rear porch.

Lot at Susquehanna next to the recently redone home

Permits to demolish the building on the site, first issued in 2008, were renewed last month. According to public record, the property last changed hands for $265K in 2007. Recently, it went under contract to a new buyer at an asking price of just under $150K. Seems like the seller is really taking a bath on this one, no? The good news for the neighborhood is that a new owner and a renewed demol permit should mean that the blight should soon disappear and three new homes should rise here. We kind of wonder what took so long, but sometimes these sorts of things take time.

Ice cream shop at Colona

The area has definitely seen a rise in demand in recent years both from buyers and renters seeking proximity to Northern Liberties but at lower prices. Across the street from the property is the neighborhood ice cream window Scoops, which is like a summer pool snack bar. There’s also Les and Doreen’s Happy Tap, which according to GoogleEarth, has also seen improvements in the last few years. Despite any renovations, the smell of fried foods still permeated the area when we stopped by.

Corner bar across the street from the Susquehanna lot

Not that we expect such a thing will stop anyone from buying a new house across the street in the next year.

–Lou Mancinelli