A few weeks back, after yet another snow storm, the third floor of 848 Wharton St. collapsed under the weight of all that white stuff. We passed by the other day and the property has been totally cleared. It's now a vacant lot.
For years, this property has sat vacant, catty corner from the extremely popular and visible Pat's Steaks. You may recall, a couple of years ago, we openly wondered about the vacant lot on the northeast corner of this intersection, wondering why it hasn't been developed. Interestingly, the large vacant lot is owned by Anna and Maria Olivieri, according to public record. The recently collapsed building is owned by Maria Olivieri, which may or may not be the same person who owns the large lot across the street.
Whether it's the same Maria or not, it's surely the same family. That family also happens to be the one that owns the aforementioned cheesesteak joint across the street. So while it's true that you can critique the owners of Geno's for wasting a nearby storefront as a motorcycle display case, at least they don't own a collection of properties nearby that are bringing down the entire neighborhood. As for the recently demolished property, that was just an unfortunately vacant property at a busy intersection. Maybe now it will inspire the owners to sell it off to a developer. But that huge vacant lot across the street will bother us until the day a mixed-use building replaces it. Or a mini-golf course again, whatever.