Tasked with purchasing some ephemera for a New Years Eve party, we recently found our way to Party City, located in the Whitman Shopping Center at 3rd & Oregon. Party hats and plastic champagne flutes in hand, we made our way back toward Center City, enjoying the South Philly experience of driving north on 2nd Street for a spell. After just a block though, we were stopped dead in our tracks by the sight of some new construction on the 2500 block of S. 2nd Street. This is simply not an area where we would ever expect to find any development activity. And yet…
We couldn't tell you why this unassuming block had a large stretch of empty lots for many years on its western side. But if we turn back the clock to 2007, we see that the vacancy dates back at least a decade.
Today, two different developers are in the process of building five homes here. Three of the homes are mostly finished, at 2546-50 S. 2nd St., and two of these homes have garages. None have been listed for sale, though perhaps that'll happen soon. Different developers are building a pair of homes at 2538 and 2542 S. 2nd St., with vacant lots bookending and interrupting the project. The two lots where you see foundations were previously owned by City agencies, so kudos to the developers for finding a way to pry the properties away from the City. The surrounding vacant lots are privately owned, and we'd have to think the developers made offers that were rebuffed.
As we said, this is some unexpected development, given the location, but we'd think that it's purely a result of the presence of a large chunk of land and not an indication that we'll soon see a development boom in this section of South Philly. But who's to say? Maybe this will be the next hot area in town. But somehow we doubt it.