For at least a decade and surely much longer, a pet store has held down the retail space at 27-29 S. 40th St., near Penn's campus. But over that last decade, there have been plenty of changes to the surrounding area with the most notable being the construction of the Hub on Chestnut just a few doors down. With the former home of the pet store now available for sale, it seems that more change could be on the horizon.
The property is currently listed for sale for $879K which seems like a high price at first glance. But when you consider the fact that the lot has a footprint of over 2,500 sqft and that it's zoned CMX-4, the asking price seems like it might be met. That particular zoning designation would allow for a seven story apartment building by right, which would seem like a wise choice considering the student housing boom in the general area. On the other hand, developers just a block to the south had a similarly zoned lot almost three times the size and instead opted for a disappointing one-story commercial-only building. So who knows what anyone would build here or what they'd pay.
If the building doesn't get demolished and replaced, it's certain that the buyers would clean out the retail space and find a new tenant. Already, this block has Lovers and Madmen, Locust Moon, a new Pizza Hut, Distrito, and the Aveda Institute. Surely there's room for additional retail that attracts both Penn kids and people going to and from the El stop half a block away. But first a buyer is gonna have to step forward- until then, our bet's still on demolition.