What’s With the Big Vacant Lot at 19th and Wylie?

Now that 19th Street has seen recent improvements in separate projects near Poplar and Ginnodo Streets, and along the 1900 block of Brown Street where two single family homes are being constructed on opposite sides of the block, as well as a four home project planned for 19th & Brown, we wonder what if any plans may be in store for a large vacant triangular shaped grass lot at 19th & Wylie. In 2009, Philly.com reported the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) picked the Hankin Group over Onion Flats for a project called Cameron Square Neighborhood Development, to develop 69 townhomes on the 1.5 acre city-owned lot.

The lot

The City sold the lot in January 2010 to Cameron Square Development for $900K, according to Paul Chyrstie of OHCD. Since then “it’s not something we’ve tracked,” said Chrystie. At the OPA, the lot, 821 N. 19th St., is listed as being owned by Cameron Sqaure, located in Exton.

Looking south
Looking north-ish. It sure is empty.

The lot is located across the street from the Francisville recreation center and its outdoor courts and fields. It runs along 19th Street between Parrish and just beyond Brown. Blessed with an odd shape, the lot opens up interesting possibilities for a creative developer. No idea whether that applies to the Hankin Group.

So, the question is with the continued redevelopment in the area immediately surrounding areas, including the near complete 35-unit Loonstyn development at 19th & Poplar, does that mean something will happen soon at this triangular lot? We have no evidence that it will, but it sure would seem like a good idea, no?

–Lou Mancinelli