Demo Notice Appears at Former Auto Garage on Lancaster Avenue

We’ve been at this for a number of years, and have written thousands of posts about projects all over Philadelphia. With all that content, we sometimes lose track of whether we’ve previously covered a property or not. It gets especially frustrating when we find out about something happening with a property and feel like we definitely covered it previously, but can’t find any old posts on the subject. Makes us feel like we’re going a little crazy, actually.

And that brings us to 3830 Baring St., an auto garage that was most recently home to a collision repair business called Back 2 New. This property feels so familiar, but as far as we can tell, we’ve never written about it before. So we’ll assume we haven’t a proceed accordingly.

View of the property
Closer look

Though the building has a Baring Street address, it’s located at the corner of Lancaster Avenue and therefore zoned for mixed-use commercial. It’s a pretty nice size, going all the way back to Pearl Street and covering roughly 9,000 sqft of space. We were in the neighborhood the other day and the building caught our attention, or more specifically the demo notice posted out front drew our gaze.

View on Pearl Street

Unfortunately, the building’s impending doom is pretty much all the concrete information we have at this moment. We see that the building changed hands a little over a year ago, trading at $1.1M. As for permitting, we see the demo permit and other permits associated with demolition, but nothing else stands out. Doing a little research on the new owner of the property, we see that he’s in the student housing business, which would seem like a sensible and predictable fate for a building at this location.

Remember, the intersection of 40th & Baring, just a block and a half away, is a nexus of relatively new student housing units in this area, and frankly this seems like an even more desirable location. It will remain to be seem whether the developer looks to maintain commercial uses on the first floor or seeks a variance to go with a strictly residential building. We’ll hope for the former, as the Lancaster Avenue corridor could definitely benefit from a new construction retail space. Meanwhile, we’ll also cross our fingers that whatever eventually rises here will take design a little more seriously than some of the other student housing projects we’ve seen in West Philly in recent years. Not a high threshold to cross, actually.