At 5th & Thompson, a block north of Girard, we present to you what one might call a four-star corner.

At the southeast corner of this intersection is a huge vacant lot, across the street from the wonderful and charming Taco Riendo. The lot is actually six separate parcels, all owned by members of the  Erlich family, which has owned them since the late 1980s. There was a deed transfer in 2012 from Jacob Erlich to Harvey and Eli Erlich, indicating that the family is at least aware that they own these properties, despite not having done anything with them in over two decades. Looking at public record, the City was, curiously, not charging them property tax until 2011 for these properties, which might partially explain the lack of development. Unfortunately, the failed land valuation that will accompany AVI will dramatically undervalue these lots, which will continue to disincentivize development.

Hooray, it's available!

Tacos across the street

Directly across the street, on the southwest corner, is two much smaller vacant lots. And across the street from that, on the northwest corner, is a vacant ground-floor location begging to be Taco Riendo’s neighbor. There are three corners of opportunity here, and with the glory Taco Riendo’s tongue taco, we think this intersection is is ripe for positive change.  

Two vacant lots

Vacant commercial space

We suspect the two lots on the southwest corner will be developed sooner rather than later. Then the natural question becomes, who’s interested in this huge freakin’ lot just off Girard, almost within earshot of the Piazza? With near saturation in Northern Liberties and Fishtown, and two large mixed-use developments coming soon to South Kensington, could these lots continue to sit vacant for years to come? Or could a developer come onto the scene and building single family homes here? Or another mixed-use development?

Of course, if anything happens here in the coming months, you know we’ll tell you all about it.

–Lou Mancinelli