If you’ve been to the east end of Washington Avenue, you’re likely aware that you’re not in Society Hill. But if you used to purchase beer at 129 Washington Ave. at Society Hill Beverage several years back, you may have been fooled if you weren’t familiar with your surroundings. We have checked in on this property a couple of times, first in 2015 when plans called for an overbuild of the existing building. In 2018, we told you about updated plans to demolish the existing building, with nine units going up in a mixed-use project. Let’s drift down memory lane/Washington Ave. and check out how things looked back then.

A view of the oddly-named Society Hill Beverage several years ago

A few things have happened in the world since we last checked in here, but as sad as we are to see a local business go, we are pleased to report that major progress has been made. The new four-story structure will feature eight apartments per permits, with ground floor commercial space as well. KJO Architecture is designing the building, which is making solid progress. We are also happy to see that both facades of this building are getting classy treatments of white brick, so both Washington Ave. and little League St. will receive a handsome streetscape. We aren’t sure what’ll appear in the commercial space as of yet, but let’s check out the site to see how it looks today.

View of 129 Washington, looking north
Close-up of the brick and windows
A similar vibe for the League St. side of the building

This is a nice little project, especially given the limitations that go along with the parcel’s CMX-2 zoning (the fact that it’s under-zoned is another issue, but we digress). Thanks to a setback, it does an especially good job of not overwhelming the row home-centric League St., which offers a quaint, tree-lined respite from the current asphalt paradise of Washington Avenue.

Current view of the Mummers Museum across the street from the project
A rendering of what the future of the street may look like

As we have reported previously, this section of Washington Avenue should soon see an upgrade. In this area, the Delaware River Waterfront is actually responsible for the streetscape upgrades as part of the Washington Avenue Connector, which will take place in tandem with repaving. It sure is fun to envision a future when these ultra-wide roads transition to a more pedestrian-friendly experience.