The 900 block of Spring Garden Street is really odd. It’s home to Roy Pitz Barrel House, Sazon, and W/N W/N, three quality restaurants, and also a gun range. The block is bisected by the tail end of the Reading viaduct, and the former Spring Garden Station sits vacant and blighted on its northern side. It never occurred to us that there would be a viable parcel on the south side of the block, to the east of the viaduct, but we recently learned that there is indeed such a parcel. 900 Spring Garden St. was a hotel back in the day, with a pool hall and pub on the first floor.

9th Sg 1960
Bar and hotel that were here in 1960

Somewhere along the line, this building got torn down, perhaps somewhere around the time that the trains stopped running out of this location. The parcel has been sitting vacant even since, aside from some billboards.

View from the south
Closer look
View from the north

Fortunately, this area is trending in a positive direction, and as a result it seems the winds of development are blowing for this parcel. Developers bought the property back in 2014, paying $400K for the 3,300 sqft parcel. While billboards are a great source of passive income, that’s not the plan here. Instead, they are looking to build a six-story building with retail on the first floor and 30 apartments on the upper floors. This will happen, assuming the ZBA gives their approval tomorrow.

Assuming it gets approved and built, this will obviously be a huge upgrade over a vacant lot with billboards. And it will nicely complement the eight story building that’s currently planned just a block away, next to Union Transfer. Residents in both buildings, assuming they get built. will have a wonderful amenity on their doorstep, the Rail Park. The first phase of the park, which will run east from Broad to the 1100 block of Callowhill, is set to open later this year. We believe that the next phase will include the viaduct section next to 900 Spring Garden St., and it will hopefully also integrate a renovation of the old train station. We wonder, will the gun range stick around through it all? Something tells us, maybe not.