922 S. 19th St. is a mixed-use property at the northwest corner of 19th & Carpenter which has been listed for sale for much of the last year, most recently at a price of $675K. The first floor of the property has been a barber shop for years, though we would guess that it's had several different retail uses over the years. Upstairs, there are three efficiency apartments that are in decent shape, and there's a one-story garage at the rear of the property. Despite these features, we'd contend that the list price is still a bit too high. So we were surprised to learn that the property went under agreement a couple months ago.
The potential buyers intend to keep the apartment units intact and to convert the former barber shop into a dog daycare facility with grooming services and overnight boarding. They made a presentation last month to the SOSNA zoning committee, and the near neighbors had a number of issues with the plan, including questions about noise, traffic, open space for the dogs, and where the animals would do their business. The most notable thing to come out of the meeting was that the business would be permitted to board up to 90 (!) dogs at one time. As you probably would have guessed, they'll be coming back to the community to try again, likely in June.
In general, we're big fans of corner commercial mixed into residential neighborhoods, but this might be an instance where a residential use would be most appropriate for the first floor of this building. While a kennel for 90 dogs might make financial sense for the operators, it would be a terrible burden for all of the people who live nearby. Even a facility holding a dozen dogs overnight at this location seems like a questionable idea. People moving to South Street or Passyunk Avenue should expect this sort of thing, not people at 19th & Carpenter.
Historically, we'd wager that every corner of this intersection was once home to a business of some kind. But as the years have passed, at least two of the corners have seen retail spaces converted into apartments.
Can you think of some businesses that could make a go of it at this location? We've racked our brains (for the last thirty seconds) and can't come up with anything that would be both lucrative and embraced by the neighborhood. Who knows, if the sale falls through because the dog daycare doesn't get approved, you might just be able to open that business yourself.