On and around East Chestnut Street, the dominoes continue to fall.
The 1100 block is in the midst of a major transformation, with Brickstone creating 115 new apartments and a ton of new retail through a combination of renovation and new construction on the south side of the block. And maybe a Trader Joe's too. This project will take a stretch that was previously among the most bleak in Center City and bring it back to life in dramatic fashion. Though we didn't predict the specifics, we had a feeling three years ago, when Milkboy opened, that positive change was coming to East Chestnut Street. It seems that Brickstone likes what it seems in the area, as they're now moving forward with an additional project around the corner.
Public record tells us that Brickstone has purchased 106 S. 11th St., commonly known as the Baum's building. A Hidden City story details the building's fascinating history, including the presence of the same retailer since before World War II. But with $1.8M in their pockets, Baum's is changing locales, moving from their home of so many decades to a new location on Passyunk Avenue. This fills in a missing chunk of information from several months ago, when we told you of a dance studio with a retail element moving to the former Saint Jude space on the 1800 block of Passyunk.
This, of course, begs the question of what will become of the Baum's building, now that it's in Brickstone's hands. Will it be demolished like several of the buildings around the corner? Or will it be renovated, like the Oppenheim & Collins building or the Lit Brothers building before it? Word on the street is that renovation is in the cards, with plans for twelve apartments and three separate retail spaces. If the developer's work on other renovation projects is any indication, the original details will be preserved and historic elements that have been hidden for years will be revealed. We look forward to seeing this project move forward, and will share some news on yet another Brickstone project nearby soon enough.