Over the past year in Passyunk Square there has been a push of redevelopment, mostly infill. But some of its has been for readaptive purposes like plans to convert the former Kingdom Hall at Jehovah's Witness building on the 1200 block of Federal Street into new apartments. A couple blocks away, the Wharton Street Lofts at 12th & Wharton were once the Annunciation BVM School. But the school closed after the 2011-2012 school year, was sold and last winter the Passyunk Square Civic Association approved plans to convert the old school into 45 apartment units. The lofts became available this year. As for the first floor commercial space, look for a 24-hour gym to come soon.
Owner Lee Adimando seems as if he has a grand vision for the 12th & Wharton area. Over the winter, Adimando also had his developer's eyes all over the city-owned surface lot next door, where he wanted to build a five- or six-story apartment building. But those plans will seemingly come to naught, at least for now.
In addition to its larger-scale reuses, Passyunk Square is also home to various infill development. Like a few blocks away at 7th & Wharton, where three homes will replace a little garage. All of this redevlopment is pointing to an important part of a successful urban neighborhood, density (within reason). It's what brings vitality and diversity to a city. As more and more residential projects pop up, perhaps independently owned retail locations will follow. With other projects in the neighborhood like the 50-units replacing the former Amory building at Broad & Federal, Passyunk Square is on the up. And now that Torre Big and Tall, right next to the old Armory, has closed, an opportunity for another project could be brewing as well.