Over the past several months, a number of readers have checked in with us, inquiring about 17-19 N 2nd St., a vacant building in Old City. We originally took note of this double-wide building over a decade ago, relatively soon after Synapse Cafe shut down in one of the commercial spaces. We remember passing by the space as the months passed, watching a leftover stack of Philadelphia Weeklies slowly fade due to exposure to the sun. And the building remains vacant all these years later.

Red and empty

The property was purchased by John Primiano back in 1996 for $174K. The two historically designated buildings sit on almost 2,500 sqft of land and have almost 6,000 sqft of interior space. We’d have guessed even more. Mr. Primiano owns a couple of other properties around town, notably a huge (over 54K sqft) warehouse building on Schyulkill Ave., in the Devil’s Pocket.

Looks rough at the moment

17-19 N 2nd St. has been on and off the market over the years, most recently offered for $1.065M until being taken off Trend in April. The latest listing suggested that the buildings could have “great potential for Gallery, furniture store, or other retail use along with office space.” For as long as we can remember, these buildings have not lived up to their potential, but perhaps the owner could become a little more motivated to sell in the near future.

History right across the street

If Mr. Primiano ever does sell, what would people like to see in this space?