Archdiocese Selling Off Some Properties in Center City

Dear God: we’re unsure if you’ve heard our prayers lately. We need some money. So we’re selling some of (Y)our things.

Like the Holy Family Center and the northern portion of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center’s parking lot, located at 17th and Vine Streets. Hope you don’t mind, Big Fella. (Signed, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.) The 20K sqft former convent now functions as office space for various Catholic Social Services, which will be relocated.

The building

We didn’t know God had money troubles. What gives? The archdioceses faced a $6M operating deficit for the 2012 fiscal year, according to Catholic News Agency (CNA).

With these properties for sale, an interesting development opportunity presents itself in Logan Square. There, preconstruction recently started at the other corner of 17th and Vine on another one of God’s assets, the Temple for the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS). Guess as one leaves another comes, like cars to parking spots in Philly. This makes for an interesting development opportunity along the south side of the 1700 block.

The lot plus the building
From 18th Street

“We’ll just deal with it,” said Ed Panek, Logan Square Neighborhood Association zoning chair Ed Panek about whatever changes may come as the result. Panek said he’s interested in working with Church of LDS to potentially draft a neighborhood agreement about what kind of development is preferred in the area. He hinted at the possibility of a concurrent greening and lighting scheme.

With a new project underway at 19th and Arch, and another potential project across the street, the face of Logan Square is changing its makeup. As for the Catholic Church and it’s money issues? We pray think they’ll be all right in the end.

–Lou Mancinelli