For years, we've been talking about Washington Avenue West, hoping for better things than forklifts and building supply warehouses, and dreaming of a more accessible bridge between Graduate Hospital and Point Breeze. And there have certainly been some small improvements, like the opening of NextFab Studios, a crossfit gym, and Kermit's Bake Shoppe. But to us, the real game changer will be residential on Washington Avenue. We're sure it's coming, but where and when have remained open questions. Finally, it seems like we have the answers- and they are 18th & Washington and very soon.

Demo notice on the building

Looking up 18th Street

It was all the way back in August of 2011 that we brought you news of a planned project for this corner. We forgive you if you don't remember the details; it was so long ago, the Phillies were still good at baseball and Lebron had no championships. So here's a refresher: The Carosella brothers, owners of C&R Building Supply, have approvals for the demolition of the building you see pictured above. In its place, they will build a four-story building with basement parking, first floor commercial, and fifteen rental apartments. The basement parking, interestingly, will be accessed via a car lift. Sounds better than a ramp, if you're asking us. Check out the rendering from Harman Deutsch, understanding that the look may have changed some in the last three years.

Three year old rendering

Mind you, the only indication we have about the project moving forward is that a demolition permit has been pulled. It's quite possible that the property owners simply intend to tear down the building and wait a few more years before they build anything. But that wouldn't make much sense, now would it? Assuming that the project moves forward and something resembling the structure above gets built in the near future, it could be the first domino that falls, proving that residential works on Washington Avenue. Three years from now, when the Phillies are good again (hey, we can dream right?) and Lebron still has only two rings, we hope that this building and a couple others are housing the first tenants willing to give Washington Avenue a try. It's scary to think, but that possibility seems better than the odds of the Phillies returning to form so quickly. On the plus side, things are looking up for the Eagles…