Fairmount Avenue Trading Lunch Spot For Doggie Daycare

New Deal Restaurant made its home at 1600 Fairmount Ave. for over a decade, serving greasy spoon fare at relatively reasonable prices while getting atrocious Yelp reviews. The business shuttered in 2015 though, and their space has been available for rent, pretty much ever since. Most recently, the 1,800 sqft space was listed for rent for $5K/mo, with an offer of the first year rent free or $50K in tenant improvement dollars. The space is partially gutted though, and needs way more than $50K to bring it to a usable state for any kind of business

Corner building plus vacant lots next door
A peek inside

But wait, take a look at the image above that shows the exterior of the building. You’ll notice there’s a zoning notice posted outside, and also on the adjacent vacant lots. When we spotted these zoning notices, we were hopeful that a developer had purchased the restaurant and the vacant lots next door, and was planning a new mixed-use building. Alas, that’s not what’s happening. Instead, a dog daycare has signed a lease for the space and has additionally signed a lease with the owner of the vacant lots to use that space as a dog run. Assuming the project gets approval from the ZBA, this will be one of the more centrally located, privately owned dog runs in town.

Looking west on Fairmount

While this is great news for dog owners in the Spring Garden and Francisville neighborhoods, it’s a bit of a disappointment from a planning perspective. We’ve seen multiple mixed-use buildings rise on Fairmount Avenue over the last several years, including 1720 Fairmount (home of Bar Hygge) and the Tela’s Market building at 19th & Fairmount. Those buildings have exciting retail tenants on the first floor and also have residential units above, adding to the number of customers for the Fairmount Avenue corridor.

Unfortunately, the four properties at the southwest corner of 16th & Fairmount are owned by three different parties, making holistic redevelopment unattainable at this time. On the plus side, three of the four properties are remaining vacant for now, which would seem to ease the path for a larger building on this site at some point down the line. For the foreseeable future though, it’ll be doggie day care at this corner. It’s an upgrade over a vacant commercial space, but it’s a far cry from the highest and best use for the property.