The property at 5013 Springfield Ave. covers nearly an acre, but you’d never guess it just from passing by. Because of the way that the Media/Elwyn train tracks split the 5000 blocks of Springfield and Warrington, there’s an oddly shaped quasi-triangle at this address, with minimal frontage on Springfield and a ton of depth along the tracks. For the last few decades at least, this property has been used for storage and parking, but as development has continued to move its way into this section of Southwest Philadelphia, we imagine it started to look more and more attractive for its potential for mixed-use development.
You may recall, we told you a little over two years ago that development was indeed in the cards for this parcel, with plans calling for a mixed-use building with 65 apartments and retail on the first floor. Some time passed, and we figured that the project wasn’t happening after all, given its location right next to the tracks and a bit on the fringe of development in the area. But it seems we gave up too soon, as the garages on the site were demoed within the last few months. From the looks of it, site work is underway.
It just so happens, we were scanning the Ambit Architecture Instagram feed and spied some renderings for the upcoming project, which is what inspired us to revisit the site. Looking at the permits, we see that the plans are calling for a fresh food market on the first floor, which will benefit the neighborhood by adding a new place to get groceries, while aiding the development in providing height and density bonuses. Incidentally, the developers are calling the development Evergreen Terrace, which will immediately make sense to you if you’re a fan of the longest running cartoon on television.
This project is setting up to be a game changer in this part of town, since it crosses the tracks and will likely inspire additional development to the west. We wonder whether it will also result in something happening to its sister property, 5000 Warrington Ave., on the other side of the tracks. This property, which is privately owned, is even larger than the Springfield Avenue property and ostensibly better located, as it doesn’t require crossing the tracks to get to Penn or University of the Sciences or other points east. Its redevelopment would be especially welcome since it’s currently covered in trash and the remains of old cars. Unfortunately, since it’s zoned for industrial use instead of mixed-use, its redevelopment will probably be a bit trickier, and certainly won’t be possible without a variance from the ZBA.