We sure have been busy in Old City lately, so let’s add another exciting update to the list of fun. The property at 69-71 N. 2nd St. at the corner of 2nd & Arch last popped up on our radar back in March of last year. This former Economy restaurant supply building had its sights set for a hotel/bar conversion, bringing four rooms and a ground floor restaurant space to the corner. After seeing few signs of action over the last year plus, we were thrilled to see drywall being loaded into the building and a dumpster out front, hinting at the work taking place inside.

A current look at 69-71 N. 2nd St., with a dumpster out front
A rendering of what the future might hold

We don’t have any details of the hotel space, but the ground floor/basement level bar and restaurant sure look good to us. This should add a huge injection of life to this corner, which sits on the sleepier side of Old City.

Framing appears underway inside
A look at what's ahead for the corner
Basement area offers speakeasy vibes below

We are loving the plans here, as the number of restaurants and drinking establishments as you head north on 2nd St. quickly dwindle as you move away from Market St. to the south. Thankfully, it’s not just one hotel/restaurant making waves on this stretch of N. 2nd. Just to the south, a 14-unit project at 59 N. 2nd St. is continuing its progress. This lovely old rowhouse has seen slow and steady work since our last visit, with a roof-level addition going in, along with plenty of framing and the like.

The property today, making slow and steady progress
An elevation drawing gives a bit more information of what to expect

Next we head north, where another former Economy building is getting the mixed-use treatment. At 124-26 N. 2nd St., five large condos and ground floor retail space are coming to us from Astoban Investments. This project has been in the works for a while now, but a recent drywall delivery and on-going work on the retail space gives us hope that this one will be wrapping up before long.

Things are getting close to completion at 124-26 N. 2nd St.
An interior rendering gives a look at the high-end finishes

Finally, we make our way back south again to what is currently a surface parking lot. The property at 37-39 N. 2nd St. recently changed hands, with parking operator/developer Parkway Corporation swooping in to pick up the 28-space, quarter-acre lot. While there are no plans currently to redevelop the lot, it wouldn’t surprise us in the least if we see Parkway explore their options for developing the site in the nearish future. In fact, they are currently looking to have the property delisted from the Historic Register, as a fire from 1985 wiped away any sign of the building’s past.

Minor construction removed a small kiosk from the surface parking lot
A view of the property from 1977, before the 1985 fire led to its demolition

As we said previously, it is both surprising and wonderful that Old City is still seeing development taking place, with this historic neighborhood getting denser and filling in with retail after a Covid-induced slowdown. We love seeing the continued progress, as architecture is restored and street life continues to pick up in this extremely walkable community. And it certainly isn’t a bad thing to have another option for dining and drinks in America’s most historic square mile.