A year and a half ago, we brought 740 S. 18th St. to your attention. A giant mixed-use property on a prominent Graduate Hospital corner, this building once contained a funeral home and also had a bike shop on the first floor within the last twenty years. But for the last decade or so, it’s sat mostly vacant, barely used by the property owner who lives next door, slowly rotting from the outside.

The building

As we told you previously, the building is owned by Harold Beale, who purchased the building in 1976 and also owns (and lives in) the home next door. While a blighted building across from the beautiful Marian Anderson ball field is aggravating, what’s particularly galling about this situation is that Mr. Beale is extremely tax delinquent on both properties. On the corner building, taxes were last paid in 2001 and he currently owes nearly $32K to the City. On his home, the debt goes back to 1999 and is just over $30K. According to the Philadelinquency Payment Plan Map, he’s at least in a payment plan for his home, but somehow his debt to the City has gone up by a combined $7K since the summer of 2011. That payment plan seems to working out pretty well for him, huh?

Now, a reader checks in with information that Beale is doing some exterior renovations to the corner property. He’s removed one of the building’s defining characteristics, moulding with the name “Weaver” in block letters. While it’s possible that the wood was rotted and needed to come out, it’s also certain (according to the L&I Map at least) that this work is being done without any permits. While we’re doubting that the building will collapse as a result of the work done so far, a little oversight from L&I, would be nice, no?

The building today

From the south

And did we mention that there are four new violations outstanding on the property as of a couple of weeks ago? And that the corner has been saved from sheriff’s sale twice in the last five years? Hopefully, this is a sign that the property will eventually be rehabbed, sold, and the City will at least recoup the taxes due on the corner property. But perhaps a Stop Work Order would be a pleasant sight beforehand.