This dilapidated building on the southeast corner of 3rd and Vine Sts. most recently was the home of Lite Bite (Lite Bites?), a neighborhood breakfast place that could never have been described as ‘fancy.’ Since Lite Bite’s closing about five years ago, this space has sat vacant. In 2008, a developer purchased the building for $475K, gutted it to the studs, dug out the basement, and went through zoning to get approval to add four stories to the building to create five condos, one on each floor. As was the case with many developers who made real estate investments in 2008, things did not progress as planned and the developer sold the building last month for $300K according to public record.
The News Page for Old City Civic states that neighbors have noticed work being done at the property in the past month, and some believe that a restaurant is planned for the space. If we had to bet, we wouldn’t wager on a restaurant use for this space. While C-3 zoning would allow for a restaurant, Old City District rules might represent a barrier. Also, the investment required to build out a restaurant in this space would be tremendous while the upside questionable at this location in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Building out five 2000 sqft. residential condos in seems like a the most likely outcome.
Granted, we have no inside information and no plans or renderings, so we reserve the right to be wrong on this one. But looking at the condo buildings that surround this one, high end residences seem likeliest at this point. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.