Vacant South Kensington Corners Could Represent Opportunities

At the five-point intersection of N 3rd St., Germantown Ave., and Thompson Sts. stand the Flats at Girard Pointe, a multi-unit housing development built by JDT International, the same folks who buit the Flatz@2015. Not only are these homes notable for their location and architecture, but also for the urban topiary that lines their rear yards.

Flats on the left

Perhaps, with inspiration from this project, the large vacant lot across the street at the southeast intersection of Germantown & Thompson might attract some industrious eyes. We think the lot corresponds with the 1233 Germantown Ave. which the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority has owned since 1971. The lot’s been vacant long enough for it to evolve into a state of vegetation where trees as tall as ranchers have grown.

City owned lot?

Meanwhile, across the street at the northeast intersection, at 1301-03 Germantown Ave., a boarded-up, vacant three-story mixed-use building with steel garages pulled down over what could have once been large windows, occupies the corner. According to public record, it was purchased in 2010 and the owner is current on tax payments. The listing advertised a gutted interior, ready for rehab, and the buyer paid only $175K, despite a $479K asking price. Directly to the north is a building that’s actually in use, containing Project Basho, a photography resource center.

Vacant building on the corner, occupied building next door

We’re almost starting to sound like a frozen CD, but will local construction spikes in Northern Liberties draw developers this way? It’s only a block off Girard Avenue. And if the new construction at Germantown and Thompson is an indication, buyers will buy in this location in this market. We shall see.

–Lou Mancinelli