Just about everyone agrees that Fitler Square is one of the cutest neighborhoods in Philadelphia, lined with mature trees and home to the eponymous Fitler Square itself, as well as the Markward Playground and its associated park, athletic field, and dog park. Fitler Square is technically a sub-neighborhood of Rittenhouse, represented by the same community group and offering a more residential approach, compared to the commercial activity to the north. There’s also a Rittenhouse Fitler Historic District, established in 1987 and protecting the built environment from Broad to 25th Street, and loosely from Lombard to Sansom.

Rittenhouse, and by extension, Fitler Square, is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Philadelphia, and therefore home to some of the highest priced properties in town. We’d see a ton of development in this area, if only there was a surfeit of vacant lots or underused property, but that’s not really the case. Every now and then though, a new project comes down the pike – like what we’ll soon see on the 2600 block of Pine Street. This block contains eight homes on the south side and no homes to the north, instead the entrance to Markward Playground and some tennis courts. The homes on the block are all two stories tall, and look like they were built by the same developer at the same time, we imagine back in the late 1800s. Two of these homes, however, will soon be demolished.

The homes
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Looking east down the block
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Markward entrance across the street

Developers purchased 2608 and 2610 Pine Street earlier this year for a combined $1.2M. Back in August, we see the City issued demo permits. Like we said, the Rittenhouse Fitler historic district ends at 25th Street, so these homes aren’t protected. Last month, the developers pulled zoning permits to build new homes here, rising four stories. This is a by-right permit, and due to the fact that the properties sit in a flood plain, we imagine the ground floors will only have limited usability and we’re not sure about basements – but we don’t think any of that will matter. As we said, it’s incredibly difficult to find land to develop in this part of town, so whenever a project does happen, it results in quick sales at high prices. That’ll surely be the case here, as well.

Around the corner

Interestingly, despite the general lack of projects in this neighborhood, there are two others in the immediate area. You may recall, we told you about plans for a single home to replace a pair of homes on 26th Street just south of Pine back in 2020. That project is moving along, with the home framed out and wrapped in blue skin. If the home is listed for sale it will surely trade at a high price, but we believe that this is instead an owner-developer plan and the home won’t be listed for sale.

Across the street to the east

The homes at the corner of 26th & Panama will surely be listed for sale at some point, whenever construction is finished. That project is moving along quite slowly, as we initially covered it back in 2017. It took some time before it got started, but we were hopeful that things were moving well, as the homes were framed out when we covered the 26th Street project about 18 months ago. Unfortunately, the homes aren’t quite finished, but it looks like they could be completed sometime in the near future. When they are done, figure they’ll be listed at a price point with seven numbers, maybe starting with a two, or maybe even a three.