As you may already be aware, Northern Liberties was once a neighborhood that hummed with industry. Some of the architecture that remains suggests that history, but relatively few industrial businesses remain in the neighborhood. Recently, the neighborhood lost a stalwart as J.T. Riley Lumber Co. closed its doors at 3rd & Girard. Looking at some old city maps, it's apparent that a lumber mill has made its home at this locations since at least 1895. We have a feeling that another lumber yard won't be replacing the business that closed.

The lumber yard

View on 3rd Street

Signs on the property indicate that it's currently for sale. NAI Geis Realty is handling the listing, which has a list price of $2.7M. While this may seem like a pretty penny, the price is probably pretty appropriate. The parcel has frontage on Girard Ave., 3rd St., and Orianna St., and covers almost 30K sqft. That's a whole lot of land to build a whole lot of homes.

It's a huge parcel

The lot is zoned for industrial and commercial use (inappropriately) and would therefore need a variance for any residential use. If we owned the parcel, we'd build a large mixed-use building with frontage on Girard, and a collection of homes fronting 3rd and Orianna Streets. Who will buy the parcel? What will they do? When will it happen? Who knows, but whenever it does, it will surely change the face of the northern part of this neighborhood.

We can't wait to see what comes of this. Has anybody heard any rumblings about what might happen here?