As Philadelphia development has boomed in the last decade or so, we've seen major changes in several neighborhoods, like Point Breeze, Francisville, and East Kensington, for example. In each of those neighborhoods and a few others, new construction has filled in vast swaths of vacant land, and developers have repaired or replaced countless blighted buildings. But Philadelphia is a huge city, and most of the neighborhoods in town have been relatively untouched by development in recent years. Parkside is one such neighborhood, though it holds the potential to be one of the next wave of neighborhoods to see considerable redevelopment.
The neighborhood has so much going for it. It's next to Fairmount Park. It's next to the Philadelphia Zoo. You can walk to the Please Touch Museum. The neighborhood is home to some of the most impressive examples of Victorian architecture in town. It's just across the river from Brewerytown and has incredibly easy access to highways. It's just north of Mantua, which is just north of Drexel and Penn. And despite having all of this going for it, the neighborhood has been largely ignored by the development community, at least to date. But as opportunities wane in other neighborhoods, we can imagine a world in which developers start paying closer attention to the neighborhood, at least its eastern section. And this brings us to a collection of vacant lots on the southwest corner of 39th & Girard.
We passed by this corner the other day and noticed the pile of bricks, figuring something had recently been demolished here. Looking at the Google Maps Time Machine though, it was clear that the property has looked like this for about a decade. Oh well. You can see, there are signs on the property advertising that it's available, and if you look closely at the signs you can see that the property has about 32K sqft of space. We did some digging and found a listing, now expired, which shows that the property on the corner wasn't part of the package, but a bunch of surrounding land was indeed available.
So yeah, that's a lot of land. As recently as a year ago, the list price was $1.6M which seems like too much money for this location. Sure, you could build like 30 homes or several apartment buildings, but we don't know that there's any kind of demand in this neighborhood for anything market rate to allow for such a high price tag for the land. While the listing is expired, we'd still think an interested developer could buy the property. We just don't know that anyone would be willing to pay anything approaching the asking price at this time. Maybe someday, though.