We were incredibly pleased when we saw that a developer would be presenting a project to the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association to redevelop 600 N. 5th St. because we believed that this address corresponded with the shopping center at 5th & Spring Garden. You may recall, we once called this fortress-like structure the ugliest shopping center in Philadelphia and while its mix of stores has improved lately, we'd still posit that it looks like crap.

Shopping center at 5th & Spring Garden

Ah, but how wrong we were! It turns out that the 600 block of N. 5th Street doesn't start until you get to Green Street. This means that the shopping center will be sticking around, at least for the foreseeable future. Dang. The actual property in question is a large warehouse that sits directly to the north, one that we're pretty sure was at one point in consideration for conversion into a movie theater slash bar.

View of the property on 5th Street

In case you hadn't dismissed that idea in the last two and a half years, it's now fairly safe to assume that it ain't gonna happen. This week, developers presented plans to the NLNA to demolish the building and construct 43 new homes. This was actually their second presentation to the community, as the NLNA requested some additional details after the presentation in April. Looking at the NLNA minutes from their first presentation, we learn that the project will mean 18 homes with frontage on 5th and 6th Streets, with 25 homes inside the development. All of the homes will rise four stories and have garage parking, with ten of the homes featuring two-car parking. Shimi Zaken is the architect and David Perlman is the developer.

Big project under construction to the north

Speaking of Mr. Perlman, he's the same developer that's behind one of the two huge projects happening nearby. That's his company converting the former Transatlantic building into 41 units and building 25 new homes just on the other side of 5th Street. Immediately to the north, US Construction has their own 43 unit project replacing a warehouse, and you can see many of the foundations are already in the ground. Add in the eight unit project in the background of the photo above, and you've got a total of 160 new units in a small area in a very short time period. Wow.

With all these new customers, perhaps the prognosis is improving for the businesses in the unfortunate shopping center on Spring Garden Street. That being the case, maybe they can band together and throw some money into making the building look a little better? Are we asking too much?