A reader recently tipped us off to the ongoing demolition at 245 S. 45th St. in Spruce Hill. Seeing the opportunity to snap some photos and enjoy a huge sandwich from Koch's as a bonus, we made our way over there and discovered an old home which was surely once very beautiful is indeed getting torn down. According to our tipster, the property was in deteriorating condition for years until it was finally sold to Glasburg Properties earlier this year for a wild sum of $275K.
Why, you may ask, why would a developer lay out that kind of cash money for a West Philly property that needs to be torn down? The answer is quite simple. The home stood on a huge parcel that stretches back almost two hundred feet and allows for eight units by right in a new construction building. And in a neighborhood where college or graduate student housing is all the rage, the price tag, even with the demolition, doesn't seem quite so unreasonable. Especially when you consider the zoning challenges in this area.
This developer has built student housing near Temple which looks like the standard no-frills new construction you see around town. Architecturally, it will be interesting to see whether they decide to go with something that compares favorably to the building that's being demolished or whether they go with something completely different. We're hoping for the former, like we're seeing with a large project under construction on Chester Avenue. As that project shows, it can be done!