Over two years ago, we told you about 2509 Grays Ferry Ave., a blighted former cheesesteak shop that was nearly a Rita’s a few years back. The Rita’s use was approved by the ZBA, but overturned by the PA Commonwealth Court thanks to objections from near neighbors. People who were concerned that a Rita’s at this location could become a gathering place which would result in increased crime clearly helped the neighborhood dodge a bullet- the building in its current state clearly isn’t a test case for the broken windows theory.

Recent photo

Two years back, the absentee owners of the property, Eileen and Gary Schwalb of Henderson Nevada, owed the City about $6,200 in property taxes going back to 1997. It seems they’ve paid down some of that debt, as their delinquency now only dates back to 2007, with $5,740 owed. Since it seems that they’re in some sort of payment agreement on their back taxes, it seems unlikely that the property will be going to sheriff’s sale any time soon. But there is hope for this building!

Image from a few weeks ago

If you look carefully at the photo above, you’ll see a hot pink notice was affixed to the building recently. It’s since fallen off, but its meaning should be of great import and interest to folks in the neighborhood. You may recall, the hot pink notice is an indication that the building has been cited for a Doors & Windows violation. Looking at public record, it was also cited for various exterior code violations, and a lack of a vacant property license. But it’s the Doors & Windows violation that should have neighbors excited. If the owners of the property don’t install proper doors and windows on the property, they will begin to accrue massive fines from the City which could ultimately lead to them losing the property at sheriff’s sale.

So at this time, there are a couple of ways this thing can go. 1) The owners put some doors and windows on the building and fix it up a little so it’s less of an eyesore, 2) The building will become such a hassle that they’ll finally sell it off at a reasonable price, or 3) They’ll lose it at sheriff’s sale and someone with an eye toward building on the site will snatch it up.

Any of these possibilities seem like a huge improvement over the status quo. Now, grab some popcorn and wait to see what comes to pass.