A couple readers have reached out of late, wondering about ongoing and upcoming changes at the intersection of 22nd & Christian. And the curiosity is understandable, given the surprising amount of action here, in a neighborhood that sees less and less construction these days. Let’s go around the horn, shall we?
Maybe a year ago, a fire severely damaged the two properties closest to the southwest corner such that both got torn down. Seeing an opportunity, developers stepped forward and purchased 2202 Christian St. for $345K, and they’re currently building a by-right triplex. We imagine these units will sell as condos. The ownership for the corner property hasn’t changed, and we don’t see any additional permits on the property aside from the ones that were used for demolition. So figure this corner will continue to sit vacant for the foreseeable future, or at least until a developer offers a price that agrees with the owners. Though this property was used most recently as a duplex, it had a corner store on the first floor as recently as a few years back.
Turning our attention to the southeast corner, things are a little more confusing with the building at the corner which was last used as a corner store called Kim Van. You may recall, we brought this property to your attention a couple years back, noting that the retail space was available for rent. When no potential tenants came forward, the owners of the property pulled a permit to build an addition on the building and convert it into a triplex. Somehow that addition work turned into a demolition job, but that wasn’t what they had a permit for, and for now the demolition is frozen at the site. As soon as they have a new permit, figure they’ll finish the demolition work and start on a new residential building.
Speaking of a new building, let’s now look at the northeast corner of this intersection, where a one-story building has been sitting vacant for a few years, since a laundromat closed its doors. A little more than two years ago, we shared the exciting news that this building would be torn down and replaced with a new four-story building with a restaurant space on the first floor and office space on the upper floors. The renderings looked terrific and we were excited. But despite the fact that the project got zoning approval in the summer of 2017, it turns out it ain’t happening. New developers, that same ones that own 2202 Christian St., bought the property for $575K at the end of last year and are now pursuing a by-right quadplex on the site.
With all this change at this intersection, some stability is a welcome sight. That stability can be found at Sidecar, located on the northwest corner. This bar/restaurant has been around for over a decade, an impressive feat in a very tough business. And we know, it’s not the same as it used to be as it’s gone through a couple of ownership changes in the last few years, but it’s still a neighborhood institution and the last commercial holdout at what was once a four-business intersection.
Incidentally, none of the corner buildings at this intersection are zoned for commercial use, with three zoned multi-family and the Sidecar building zoned for single-family use. Multi-family development is almost always less risky than mixed-use development, which is why you’re seeing all the corner retail disappear here. We had high hopes, back in the day, that 22nd Street would transform into a neighborhood retail corridor but that hasn’t really come together. We’d say that’s probably due to in part to the underlying zoning for the properties on the corridor, but let’s not forget the neighborhood’s rapid gentrification and resulting NIMBYism as contributing factors.