Development Opportunity on 15th & Vine

Yesterday, a blown transformer cut off power for a good chunk of the northwestern sections of Center City, and normal traffic patterns were badly disrupted. As a result, we were diverted down 15th Street heading south through town, and came upon an interesting development opportunity we'd never noticed before.

The building

305 N. 15th St. is tucked into a challenging spot. Just to the south is the Vine Street Expressway. Immediately to the west is an entire city block that's taken up by an onramp and an offramp. So while lots of cars pass this spot daily, it's not exactly what you would consider friendly to pedestrians. And while these truths won't be changing anytime soon, there is a decent chance that something will soon alter the status quo here.

Closer look

The Provence, if you're unaware, is developer Bart Blatstein's proposal for a collection of parcels that include the old Inquirer building, and would be located half a block north of here. As the calendar flipped, we predicted that the Provence would be anointed as Philadelphia's 2nd casino at some point this year. Nothing has been determined yet, but we're sticking with our prediction.

If a casino does indeed open up the street, this building becomes intriguing for investors. Formerly a printing shop, the building sits on a 2,700 sqft lot and the listing suggests that additional stories could be added to the property. We don't know what we'd put here if we bought it, but it seems likely that somebody is eventually going to drop around a million dollars for the building and then millions more to give something a try.

What would you do here?