Over the past couple of years, we’ve chronicled most of the new additions that have come to South Street West. New coffee shops, pharmacies, restaurants, pharmacies, bars, pharmacies, and other types of stores have opened their doors, bringing new vibrancy to a corridor that was ripe for improvement with all the growth that’s been taking place immediately to the south. But most of these developments have been on the smaller side, with relatively little new construction as part of the puzzle.

Some newer spots on South Street

Then there's this

Until now, that is. Two projects recently broke ground that will fill in two rather large gaps in the South Street West corridor. We covered the project at 1600-02 South St. last fall, telling you about plans for 1,500 sqft of corner retail along with 5 apartment units. This project will replace a surface parking lot, one of our least favorite sights in town. And as of a few weeks ago, the parking lot has become a hole in the ground. Foundations can’t be far behind, eh?

From a hole...

To something close to this (probably outdated) rendering

Meanwhile, just a few doors down, 1612-16 South St. is finally under construction. This partially built construction site has sat abandoned for years, but its rebirth is imminent. Most of the old debris have been cleared out, and a proper hole is currently being dug for a new foundation. This project will include a triple-wide commercial space along with fourteen new apartments. A commercial space of this size will hopefully attract a premium tenant, though no lease has been signed as of yet.

In the past

A new fence is up

And workers are clearing out the site

It will soon look something like this

We’re guessing that both projects will be finishing up by the end of the year, bringing new businesses to South Street West, and new customers as well. Keep up the good work, folks!

Full disclosure: OCF Realty, one of the representatives for the developer, is the parent company of Naked Philly.