Aya’s Cafe was a Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern BYOB which operated out of a one-story building in the middle of the 2100 block of Arch Street for many years. Unfortunately, and we’d guess due to the challenges of the pandemic, Aya’s closed its doors in the last couple years. And while we generally lament the presence of one-story buildings in desirable parts of town, we are still pretty bummed that this small business and neighborhood asset is now gone.

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Aya's restaurant, in less Covidy times

In late 2020, the owners of the property put it up for sale for just shy of $2M. Finding no buyers at that price point, they pivoted to a lease offering, trying to find someone to take over the old restaurant. That didn’t result in anything either, and we can’t say we’re shocked. This isn’t exactly a prime point in time for someone to jump into the restaurant business, especially for a property that’s not on a commercial corridor. Finding no buyers and no tenants, the owners have decided to redevelop the building at 2029 Arch St., and if you visit the property today, you’ll see that the old building is nearly gone, with just its front wall left standing.

Current view

Soon enough, the old building will be entirely gone and a small project will rise in its place. Look for two homes on this property with parking access in between, as the owners take advantage of the fact that the property sits on a mid-block corner, intersecting with little Beechwood Street. With an 18’x151′ footprint, this parcel can and will accommodate two sizable homes. While this block doesn’t necessarily feel like an obvious candidate for a single-family homes, it is certainly well located and we suspect people will eagerly move here, when given the chance.

Looking east on Arch Street

While the 2100 block of Arch doesn’t really have that residential vibe, the 2100 block of Cherry Street is about as residential as it gets. Adorable, right?

The adorable 2100 block of Cherry Street

This block is also picking up a couple new homes, incidentally. We don’t quite understand the deal with 2110-12 Cherry St., but looking at a view of the property from last year, it appears that there was a home at 2112 Cherry St. which had an expanded first floor next door. We have to look back because most of 2110-12 Cherry St. is now demoed.

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2100 block of Cherry last year
Current view

Developers came to the community back in 2020 for this project, seeking a variance to build two homes on this property. The ZBA granted the variance, and we imagine construction will start in the coming months. Interestingly, it appears the homes will utilize a drive aisle that’s accessed from 21st Street and is used by several homes to the east. This is a great use of existing infrastructure, providing the homes with parking but not creating any new curb cuts. Like the homes on Arch Street, given that these homes will be built new and include parking, we expect high sale prices. Figure all of these homes will sell for seven figures, maybe even at prices approaching $2M. With similar construction timelines likely, we’ll be interested to see how the two projects compare in terms of design, especially given their very different surroundings.