We could have sworn we wrote about 2110 Christian St. like two years ago, but for whatever reason we can't find the story in our archives. To make a not so long story even shorter, the property has been blighted and boarded up for many years, under the not-so-caring stewardship of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. The home next door, privately owned, has been in only slightly better condition through the years. The rest of the block is pretty attractive, with one of our favorite rehabs in the neighborhood at the end of the block.

In the past

Passing by over the weekend, wading through Erin Express crowds, we discovered that both 2108 and 2110 Christian St. are now under construction! Can you believe it?

Under construction!

Looking at public record, both properties were acquired last year by developer John Chang. He bought 2108 Christian St. for a very low price of $150K, but hey, good for him. 2110 Christian St., formerly owned by PHA, sold for only $100K. While the first transaction is simply a case of a developer getting a great deal, the second transaction is an example of a taxpayer-funded organization leaving about $100K on the table. How is this possible? Wouldn't those extra funds go a long way to helping fund new affordable housing starts? Or toward extremely deferred maintenance of other PHA properties in the neighborhood? Did the appraiser totally ignore real estate trends in the neighborhood or did they simply make up their numbers? It should be noted that the property next door closed two months prior to the sale of the PHA property, providing a low but still relevant comp!

Look, we don't begrudge the developer for getting two great deals. And make no mistake, we're thrilled to see these properties redeveloped. But for an agency that has limited funds, more scattered site homes than it knows what to do with, and apparently very little inclination to sell their vacant properties, you'd think they'd at least go to the trouble of having some clue about the market when they actually do decide to sell. Or maybe, <gasp>, they could have listed the property on the market in order to get the highest price possible?

Sounds crazy, right?