Months ago on a snowy day, we saw a 'For Sale' sign affixed to an interesting building in Fishtown, and snapped a photo. We immediately forgot where this was, and with little additional information, we found ourselves at a loss.
Last week, we were in the neighborhood and came upon this building again, this time sans sign. We made it a point to remember where we were, and now know this property to be 1648-50 E. Berks St.
Now knowing the address of the property (and knowing is half the battle), we were able to get some info on the property as it currently sits. According to the listing, the building was constructed in the 1950s as a convent for the St Laurentius Church and School, located nearby at E. Berks & Memphis. That church was shut down earlier this year due to structural concerns. The former convent has common space on the first floor and ten bedrooms on the second floor with shared bathroom facilities. Along with the building, there's also a large rear yard included with the property. It was on the market for over a year before it finally sold a couple of months ago for just under $400K. So this of course leads us to wonder, what's next for this property?
The possibilities are many. The existing building could be renovated, with perhaps another story added on to create an apartment building with real character. Alternately, the existing building could be demolished and a new apartment building constructed. The lot is quite large, and we could imagine a row of townhomes with a drive-aisle, a la this project in Northern Liberties. Alternately, two rows of town homes could also work.
The new owner is Corsa Inc., a pharmaceutical consulting business based in New York. Could this property instead be converted into office space? Or is this just an investment property for a closely held private company? It shouldn't be long before our questions are answered and work of some kind begins on this site. Once we get some new info, you know we'll pass it along.