Blight of the Day: 1800 block of Ridge Ave.

The area around 19th and Poplar, just south of Girard Avenue, has opened our eyes to some blighted properties around the multitude of new projects. These vacant structures stand in stark contrast to the development going on in the area.

Abandoned on Ridge

Like this abandoned thinly triangular shaped three-story brick structure on Ridge Avenue directly across the street from the intersection of Ridge and Ginnodo Street, where there is now being constructed a 10-unit project. The buildings stand on a peninsula of earth situated between Girard Avenue, Ridge Avenue, and N. 18th Street. It looks the one structure was a partitioned multi-unit building with two separate ground-floor commercial spaces facing Ridge. The southern-most of the two operated as a Chinese take-out store as early as three years ago. But we are unsure when it closed.

From the front

We think this address is 1803 Ridge Ave. According to public record, the building was acquired in 2007 by Neil Johnson. No property taxes have been paid since 1998, making its back taxes owed just over $10K. Johnson also owns the vacant lot at 1809 Ridge. Taxes haven’t been paid on that lot since 1999, for a back total of around $3K, and a grand total between the two properties equaling around $13K.

The vacant lot, at least there's a fence...

It’s possible that Johnson acquired the properties with the vision of developing them at once and then the recession hit. Or perhaps Johnson purchased the properties during that time because the market was like a sour warhead candy and has been holding onto them until a more opportune time when he could capitalize. Regardless of which, it looks he paid around $28K for them both. And given the current market, or at least the seeming trends, it seems like a potentially good investment, if he can figure out how to capitalize. One thing for sure, when folks start moving into the homes on Ginnodo Street, we doubt that abandoned buildings across the street are the view they’ll be wanting out their front door.

We’ll keep an eye out for any changes in that regard in the months to come.

–Lou Mancinelli