Traveling up 5th Street on a lovely day last week, some construction caught our eye on 5th Street, about half a block south of the Queen's Walk project. The work was particularly notable because it was taking place well beyond the street, with the foundation looking like a bit of an island with no street frontage. Doing a little digging, we of course realized that wasn't actually the case.

Unexpected construction

A better view

The address of this property is 934 S. 5th St., and it actually has frontage on both 5th Street and tiny Hall Street. The foundation you see in the photos above will eventually be home to a 9-unit apartment building. We're pretty sure that the developers combined multiple lots, creating a large but oddly shaped parcel. Here, check it out:

Not your standard lot

From what we can tell, this property has been vacant for some time, though the Google Time Machine function shows us a blighted building here back in 2007 which was gone by 2009.

Looked like this back in 2007

More interesting, perhaps, than the view of the doomed building at 934 S. 5th St., is the appearance of the rest of this block less than a decade ago. PHA allowed the nearby Southwark towers to deteriorate for years, devastating this block, and the road to recovery began with the demolition of two of the three towers in 2000. Even seven years later, the block was still in very poor condition. Today, almost every building on the block is occupied, and there's been considerable reinvestment in terms of renovation and new construction. It's encouraging to see the progress on this block, but it just goes to show how long it can take for an area to recover from years of disinvestment and blight.