The other day, we were running errands pretty far north. Far enough north in fact, that we passed Botany 500, the Traylor Building, and the North Philadelphia train station and thought to ourselves — not for the first time — that the whole area oozed untapped potential. And then, a little further on, at 3119 N. Broad St., a green hue caught our eye.
What was this? Zip board? We did not expect to see this around here. And yet, there was no work happening. It was just a commercial building with a green box growing out of it.
We went back to our favorite tool — the Google Streetview Time Machine — and discovered that this building (whose faded sign proclaims it as the former home of “THE LERAD CORPORATION”) has been the subject of a redevelopment project that’s been inching along at a snail’s pace over the last several years.
Back in 2011, the building was a fully-intact early-1900s commercial structure. Then, during 2012, the south wing was demolished. By early 2014, a new frame for the south wing had gone up, and in the middle of the year, so had the Zip board. Finally, by the middle of this year, the structure was fully roofed.
Curious about the site’s ownership, we checked the property records. According to them, it was purchased in 2010 by an LLC whose address traces back to a company called Corporate Realty Partners (not to be confused with Samschick’s Core Realty). This only confused us further, so we reached out to our friend — and inveterate development nerd — GroJLart of Philaphilia and Hidden City Philadelphia.
He told us that the site was been “listed in 2012 for $1.8M but didn’t sell”, and that the “whole building’s for lease for $32,467 per month.” Huh, that's a funny rental number.
So there you have it, folks. Are you in the market for a large fixer-upper just a block from Temple’s medical campus? For just shy of $33k a month you can have a semi-habitably semi-renovated building with its own parking lot just off Broad Street. We’d imagine you could convert the upper floors into student apartments and leave the ground floor open for a commercial tenant. Or two. Or three …
On second thought, it’s probably better to just buy this property outright if you've got those sorts of plans.