Here’s a rare case of a Naked Philly story taking things a bit too literally: a reader reached out the other day, giving us the heads up about a somewhat notorious property that’s currently for sale. 1900 S. Columbus Blvd. probably isn’t an address that immediately sparks any recognition. If we were to share that it’s home to the Show & Tel <sic> adult bookstore and showbar, then you would probably know exactly what property we’re talking about, even if you’re like us and have never set foot inside.

Show and Tel
As seen from the back

From what we can tell, the building was constructed about a hundred years ago, for industrial purposes. For many years, it was home to Spatola-Thompson, a food wholesaler. In the mid-1980s, the property took a more adult turn, and it’s been used accordingly ever since. From what we can tell from looking at the zoning archive, the building includes an adult store along with the showbar. Some of the building, we suspect the entire third floor, is sitting vacant as raw industrial space.

Screenshot 2024-06-26 At 3.46.45 PM
Interior of the establishment
Screenshot 2024-06-26 At 3.46.25 PM
Not the champagne room

We bring this property to your attention, as we mentioned above, because it’s currently listed for sale. MPN has listed the property at a $3.5M price, and we will be quite interested to see whether they get any bites at said price point. The building contains about 32K sqft of interior space and sits on a 28K sqft lot, possessing a sizable loading zone in the rear. It’s zoned for industrial use, so any pivot away from its current use and/or any attempt to move toward a non-industrial use of any kind would require a zoning variance. That being said, we’re not sure that anything other than industrial makes much sense here.

The view to the north

Delaware Ave. next to Northern Liberties is currently one of the biggest multi-family development hotbeds in town. We’re seeing several projects under construction, adding a ton of new apartments and retail. The southern section of Delaware Ave/Columbus Blvd. is a very different story. Though a very residential section of South Philly sits nearby on the other side of I-95 and a proposal may someday move forward that would add hundreds of units to the old Foxwoods site, this area is currently dominated by industrial buildings and shopping centers. Odds are, we’ll see some kind of industrial or commercial reuse when the building eventually trades. Demolition seems as unlikely as a residential development, but we’ve certainly been surprised in the past.