Most would surely agree that 1312-16 E. Passyunk Ave. is a highly desirable property. It’s on Passyunk Avenue (obviously), and just a couple blocks to the south, Passyunk transitions from a mostly residential street into one of the best commercial corridors in South Philly. It’s also located steps away from Pat’s and Geno’s, for those that like cheesesteaks or tourists. And it’s just a few steps further from the Italian Market, meaning there’s inexpensive produce and high quality meats and cheeses close by at all times.
And yet this property has sat vacant for decades. The reason for this is quite similar to the reason that the northeast corner of 9th & Wharton sat empty forever- unmotivated ownership. Like the large parcel at 9th & Wharton and the adjacent property at 1304 E. Passyunk Ave., this property was owned by a member of the family that owns Pat’s, and this individual didn’t feel terribly compelled to develop or sell their property until somewhat recently. At the end of 2012, we told you that the owners were finally looking to sell and they were seeking $650K for the property. In 2015, a developer came forward with a plan for a five-story, 15-unit building which never came to fruition, and then we told you in 2017 about another plan, this time for 12 units, which also didn’t move forward.
We should mention, we think that both of those plans came from the same developer, which purchased the lots in 2016 for $600K. Finally, in 2018, the developers pivoted again and finally came upon the winning plan, for three duplexes. Those duplexes, which might be rentals but we expect will be condos, are now under construction and this lot is finally getting filled in after all these years.
Speaking of lots getting filled in, the aforementioned parcel at the northeast corner of 9th & Wharton is also getting redeveloped, as we’ve mentioned a few times before. When we visited back in June, the building was still being framed out and was just starting the 4th floor. Checking in now, we see some very impressive progress.
From the looks of it, this building should probably be finishing up in the spring. A reminder, this building will bring two dozen new units to the area, as well as a 5,000 sqft commercial space, an obvious and greatly needed upgrade for this long underused space. Now, with these two long vacant lots turning over at last, dare we hope for the same for 1304 E. Passyunk, AKA the Rachel Ray lot? Hey, it’s 2021 folks, and anything is possible.