We’ve wondered about this one for awhile, and confess that we still don’t have too many answers. But maybe you can help?

If you’ve been to the area in the past several years, perhaps to pick up groceries at Whole Foods, to attend classes at CCP, or to enjoy an over-the-top brunch at Sabrina’s Cafe and Spencer’s Too, you’ve probably noticed this giant empty lot at 1801 Callowhill St.

Big lot

The parcel, which takes up about an acre and a quarter, was purchased by University City Housing in 1997 for $700K. This company owns numerous rental properties in West Philly, including Hamilton Court, the Branden, and Castle Hill. From what we can gather, they don’t have any properties on the eastern side of the river, and virtually all of their holdings in West Philly are renovated structures built many years ago, not new construction.

CCP next door to the lot

Could the purchase of this lot have been part of some stalled strategy aimed at building housing for CCP students over a decade ago? Or could it have simply been a long-term investment, with eyes toward flipping it when the time is right?

The Granary project is growing taller by the day

With the Granary in full swing nearby, perhaps now would be the time to go nuts and sell the parcel. After all, every year of paying the $60K+ in property taxes is probably eating away at the bottom line, no?

Unless… is there a part of the story we don’t know? Do locals have anything to add that might add some depth to this tale, and could provide some hope that the parcel will be developed in the near future? Because we must confess, it’s a sad thing to see such a huge vacant lot with no apparent plans in such a vibrant part of town. So who can help fill in the blanks?