A few weeks ago, we noticed two residential projects that were coming up on the ZBA calendar. Both are located on Spruce Street past 50th, and both lots are sitting vacant. The first project we investigated is located at 5037 Spruce St., which actually hasn't been vacant for all that long. As recently as 2014, an old building that dated back at least a century was still here, albeit in obviously bad condition.

Back in 2014, courtesy of Google

Notice how one could see straight through the windows on the 3rd and 4th floors, indicating the back end of this building was missing. We checked Google Maps and saw that, amazingly, the building was in that same condition all the way back in 2007, when Google took their first street view images. It's mildly surprising to us that L&I never tore down the building themselves. Then again, maybe that's how it came down in the end. Anyway, here's what the property looks like today:

An empty lot, today

There are two orange notices in the above picture. The one on the empty lot calls for all interested parties to attend the ZBA meeting coming up to discuss a proposal for a 4 story, 4 unit building. The notice on the front door of the building next door is an L+I warning about an unsafe main and porch roof on the building. We were told by a neighboring property manager that he had seen people working on this building to try to solve the issues, so it looks like we won't be having a demolition at this property too soon.

Less than a block away, at 5128 Spruce St., we found a second empty lot which might be getting a new building soon.

5128 Spruce St.

Both of these buildings will be twins, although we're pretty sure they won't look too similar to their immediate neighbors. We would put money on the thought that these buildings will be pretty darn similar as both are requesting 4 floors and 4 units, and both have the same ZBA applicant even though public record shows different owners. In terms of what these buildings will look like, there are two new buildings nearby that this developer may try to emulate at 5027 and 5038 Spruce. Both were built within the past 3 years and both are owned by Wilson-Drake Development. 

5027 Spruce St. kind of sticks out, especially with that different roof height and no porch

5038 Spruce St. is a standalone building

Both projects were scheduled to go before the ZBA last month but were continued, but we're sure they'll be back in short order. We'll be sure to keep you updated on these projects in the future, and will leave you for now with a view of one of the most stunning neighborhood churches in West Philadelphia, the Church of the Holy Apostles and The Mediator, at 51st & Spruce.

Amazing church nearby