Over the summer, we told you that the former home of Joy Chinese Restaurant at 723 N. 19th St. had been listed for sale and then gone under agreement in less than two weeks. At the time, we wondered about the future of this little building, which we suspected was once home to a hot dog stand. The location is fantastic, just a block off Fairmount Avenue and close to many of the residential projects that have brought hordes of new neighbors to Francisville over the last number of years.
A diamond shaped property and commercial zoning, however, made us wonder exactly what kind of project might happen here. We figured on two possibilities, either a mixed-use building with ground floor retail and a couple of apartments above, or a purely residential project with either one or two units. It turns out, the developers that bought the building are opting for the former. Contrary to our expectations, it appears that the project is happening by right.
According to the permits, the project will include a retail space on the first floor and two apartments upstairs. The permits also indicate that some of the existing building will be preserved, but we're not sure that'll end up being the case. As for the commercial tenant on the first floor, we have no idea what's to come. Perhaps some neighbors might want to chime in on what they'd like to see? A Chinese restaurant redux perhaps? Or maybe, considering the proximity to Fairmount Avenue, something in the non-food department?
While we were over there, we spotted further progress on the other side of 19th Street, where we've seen several multi-family projects sprout in the last four years. The white building in particular is one of our favorite new buildings that we've seen go up in recent memory.
Surely, the folks living here now and in the near future will have serious interest in what business eventually opens across the street