A frightening epistle came over the transom a few days back saying restaurateur/bar-owner Fergus Carey was selling his eponymous bar on 12th and Sansom so it could could be demolished to make more room for the U3 Ventures/Ten Arquitectos 26-story apartment/hotel/retail tower planned for 12th and Walnut. The email made it sound as though the demolition of Fergie’s was Carey’s decision, so it seemed essential to call and yell at him.
“That’s not true at all,” Fergie said, in that soft Irish brogue that hardly registers along the phone lines. “I don’t even own the building.”
In truth, Fergie rents the space from Michael Singer Real Estate, which has given no indication that it plans to demolish its building in the service of an enormous tower–nicknamed “Fergie’s Tower–that has yet to become a reality. (Not only that, but Fergie holds a lease.) The tower has been the subject of neighborhood opposition since 2007, when it got its first approval by the Zoning Board. Since then, it’s been enmeshed in a tangle of legal action, which ended this year in a final denial of a final petition. From the neighborhood-group standpoint, it seems there’s nothing left they can do to prevent the development from moving forward.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be built anytime soon, which is fine with Fergie, who doesn’t know what to expect once it’s here. “It could be heaven or it could be hell,” he said. “Either way, we’ve got to plow on.”