Grays Ferry Avenue has experienced a significant transformation over the last twenty years, reflecting the major changes in the rest of the surrounding Graduate Hospital neighborhood. The most noticeable difference of course, is the construction of Naval Square on the 20 acres of land that was once home to the original US Naval Academy and sat vacant and blighted for years before Naval Square happened. The project added over 600 units to the area, a staggering number of units in a low rise development so close to downtown Philadelphia. As you would expect, smaller projects filled in the gaps on Grays Ferry around Naval Square, and the combination of the huge project and a bunch of small projects created that transformation we’re talking about. Of course, there have been two notable exceptions- two corner lots at 25th & Grays Ferry have remained vacant through all of this development.

2509 Grays Ferry Ave.
Looking down Grays Ferry

We first brought 2509 Grays Ferry Ave. to your attention nearly eight years ago, wondering even back then when something was going to happen with this parcel. We provided some recent history, noting that someone attempted to open a Rita’s at this location, in a building that was originally constructed for a gas station store. Neighbors fought the Rita’s and after a couple years of litigation, the project fell through. We also noted that the owners of the property were over a decade tax delinquent, but that the delinquency only totaled $6,200, an indication of the significant under-assessment of the property for a long stretch. We hoped that the property would get redeveloped at some point, and figured that it was only a matter of time.

Alas, the photo above is from this week, a rather clear indication that noting has happened here. But we’re pretty confident that this won’t be the case in another eight years, and probably not even in another one year. You may recall, we told you about a year ago that the owners of the property had finally listed it for sale, though off the market and without a clear asking price. It took a little while, but they finally found someone willing to offer them the “fair deal” they were looking for, as a developer bought the property in January for $235K. As we mentioned, the larger vacant lot across the street at 2510 Grays Ferry Ave. was also available, and that one has also traded, but for $540K.

Larger lot at 2508 Grays Ferry Ave.

Despite its commercial history, 2509 Grays Ferry Ave. is zoned for single-family use. Given its history, we imagine the developers will look to build by right there, though we don’t see any permits as of yet on public record. We do, however, see permits on public record for 2510 Grays Ferry Ave., where the developers are planning a five-unit building. Stamm Development, the company that bought both properties, seems to be planting a flag in this neighborhood as of late, as they’re also building a quadplex at the corner of 19th & Christian. Check out this rendering for 2508 Grays Ferry Ave., cribbed from their website:

Project rendering

This certainly will represent a significant upgrade at this corner, and boy has it been a long time coming.