We couldn't tell you how long ago a one-story structure appeared at the corner of 34th & Hamilton, which until recently was home to a deli and a laundromat. We can tell you though, with great certainty, that said building is now a pile of rubble. And architecturally at least, nobody mourns for it.
This parcel actually stretches all the way to Spring Garden Street, and was entirely fenced-in when we passed by earlier this week. It was purchased earlier this year, apparently at Sheriff's Sale, for a rather large sum of $1.25M. While this may seem like a crazy purchase price, a lot size of nearly 10,000 sqft at this location is pretty valuable.
The developers are University Realty, a student housing developer and management company. These guys have a bunch of rentals in this neighborhood, even managing the buildings you see in the background in the photo above, on Spring Garden. They also have a couple of properties near Temple. Given the body of work from University Realty, we can make a couple of predictions: 1) Whatever they build is gonna have a ton of new apartments targeting Drexel students. 2) They may go to zoning to eliminate the commercial requirement, as none of their other properties have anything but apartments to our knowledge. 3) The new building won't exactly possess the Victorian flair we see in older West Philly structures.
Hopefully, the project will include a commercial component, as its creation will have resulted in the closing of two local businesses. We're also crossing our fingers that the new building isn't just a boring brick and stucco addition to the neighborhood that won't hold up in a year, let alone a hundred. Forgive us if we're not too optimistic on either count.