Is Blatstein Planning a Residential and Retail Complex at Former Foxwoods Site?

1401-99 South Columbus Boulevard | Google Maps

1401-99 South Columbus Boulevard | Google Maps

A new mixed-use complex on the Delaware River would bring apartments, townhouses, park space, and retail–including a new Wawa and an Aldi–to the mix of strip malls and big box stores on Columbus Boulevard in Pennsport. That’s according to a brochure from MSC Retail, which shows the expansive 16-acre parcel would essentially be divided into four distinct areas.

Bart Blatstein, who originally assembled the site some 20 years ago, purchased the property once again in 2014 for $13 million after plans for a Foxwoods Casino at 1401 South Columbus Boulevard failed to get off the ground.

A large retail complex would front Columbus Boulevard, which the brochure shows plans for a proposed Wawa at Tasker Street and an Aldi supermarket, located near a newly created drive aisle that looks to be an extension of Dickinson Street, the latter would get a new traffic light and extend to the river.

Blatstein couldn’t be reached for comment, but a person close to project said the plan is to be completed it in two phases: the retail portion opening in early 2017, and the residential part would follow at some point.

Read more »

New Construction Overlooks Dickinson Square Park, Asks $450,000

TREND Images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

TREND Images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

There is a lot of action on South 4th Street these days. While restaurants and shops fill out the street in Queen Village, head a few blocks south into Pennsport and Dickinson Square West (the 2nd hottest ‘hood in America, according to Redfin) and you’ll find a bunch of new construction residential projects, as well as the ongoing demolition at the former Mt. Sinai Hospital.

That brings us to the corner of 4th and Tasker Street. Once home to a forgettable (an eye sore, really) vacant lot that looked upon the lovely Dickinson Square Park, a new construction townhome has been finished and now adds some life to the corner.

Here’s what it looked like in the past:

Read more »

4th and Cross Closing in Pennsport

Fourth and Cross | Photo by Peggy Baud Woolsey

Fourth and Cross | Photo by Peggy Baud Woolsey

Andrew Michaels who converted an old Pennsport deli into 4th and Cross six months ago is closing the restaurant after dinner service this evening. The concept originally offered breakfast, lunch and dinner to the neighborhood but closed down for a brief time to reconceptualize as a dinner-only restaurant. That concept opened in October but the new focus wasn’t enough to save the restaurant.

In a still optimistic note to his friends and customers, Michaels stated that “I continue to believe that following a dream, putting together a plan, garnering support, putting it into action and seeing it through is something everyone can gain from.”

Read the full letter »

Property’s Photo of the Week: Wood Block Wonder on Reed Street

Who knew the first week of October would have such a cool treat in store for us?

In case you missed it, last Thursday saw a neat discovery happen in the Dickinson Narrows (or Dickinson Square West) neighborhood of South Philadelphia: a wooden street was unearthed from beneath the 400 block of Reed Street. Move over Camac!

In a Dickinson Square West Civic Association newsletter sent out shortly after the finding, Philadelphia Streets Commissioner David J. Perri said the paving work taking place when the discovery was made has been put on hold until they decide what to do with the wood blocks, though we know that an estimated 40- or 50-square feet worth will be removed with the intention of seeing if a museum wants to display them. More info here.

Anyway, we saw some readers sharing their own wood-block street findings in the comments section and wanted to know if any of you have seen similar pieces of Old Philadelphia in your neighborhood. Be sure to snap a picture and upload it to Instagram with the #Phillyscape hashtag!

Read more »

Another One Bites the Dust: Homes Planned for Long-Vacant Pennsport Lot

Homes are coming to 4th and McKean

Homes are coming to 4th and McKean

A long-vacant lot on the outer edges of Pennsport will no longer be used as a public free-for-all parking area/trash dump. Instead, it looks as though houses will be built in its place, something that’s becoming a bit of a theme throughout the surrounding area.

Orange zoning appeal stickers posted on site at 4th and McKean Street (officially 2001 South 4th Street), show that the lot will be split into four separate parcels, each housing a single-family residence.

The lot has been in its current state for almost exactly five years, when a fire consumed the 11-unit apartment building on October 7, 2010. The damage wrought by the blaze ultimately led to the demolition of the structure. 17 people were displaced due to the fire, and the neighborhood was left with the empty lot, a sight that is becoming more and more rare these days throughout South Philly.

Read more »

Demo Watch: Exterior Demolition at Mt. Sinai to Begin Soon

Image via Google Street View

Crews will demolish the newer portion first and work their way back to the original building (background). | Image via Google Street View

The discovery of a wooden street isn’t the only thing that’s happening on the 400 block of Reed Street these days.

There’s also a bit of news regarding the progress at Mt. Sinai Hospital, the hulking building that sits on the edge of Pennsport and Dickinson Square West at 400 Reed Street.

Concordia Group has plans to demolish the building in favor of a new setup involving 95 townhomes and four rain gardens. According to  William Collins, Concordia’s principal, interior demolition has already begun on the building built in 1987, and they’re currently removing asbestos from the building that fronts South 5th Street.

Read more »

Urban Archaeology: Wooden Street Unearthed in South Philly

A closer look at newly discovered wooden street in Philadelphia | Photo: Ted Savage

A closer look at newly discovered wooden street in Philadelphia | Photo: Ted Savage

As it turns out, the 200 block of Camac Street isn’t the only wooden street in Philadelphia.

According to the most recent newsletter from the Dickinson Square West Civic Association (DSWCA), repaving efforts from the Streets Department unearthed a stretch of what is believed to be original wooden blocks in the parking lanes that flank the 400 block of Reed Street (map), adjacent to the former Mt. Sinai Hospital site.

The newsletter details the conversations between DSWCA and David Perri, Street Commissioner: “’The paving work is stopped until an appropriate course of action is determined.  We will evaluate the situation and report findings.  Unlike Camac Street which was replaced many times over at least some of these wood blocks could be original. I would advise folks to be careful handling the blocks as they were likely coated in creosote.’”

Visibly, some of the “bricks” appear well-worn and splintered, while others are neatly packed into tight rows.

“These blocks were so dirty, you wouldn’t know that they were wood. One of the neighbors noticed it, cleaned it up and later confirmed it,” Perri later told Property, while strongly advising not to pick up the Creosote-soaked blocks. “It’s not a material you want to expose yourself to.” Creosote is toxic preservative historically used as a pesticide and to treat wood, and the Coal-Tar variety is commonly found in railroad ties, utility poles and, most likely, these (potentially century-old) wood pavers.

Unlike the square blocks on Camac Street, the newly discovered blocks are 4-in by 8-in and give the illusion of being a piece of traditional cobblestone, according to a neighbor. Perri said that they were thinking that those were the common dimensions used to build wooden streets in the early 1900s when they restored Camac Street, and that, for the first time, the Reed Street find gives them “positive confirmation” of this method. “We’re excited because this is the first one that we’ve found that has the orginal wood blocks in place,” said Perri, “We believe they’re original.”

Read more »

Hey, Philly: Pier 68 Park Is Now Open

Images courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Images courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

It’s official: Pier 68 is now open!

In a ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place Wednesday, October 1st, Mayor Michael Nutter cut the symbolic cord of a newly transformed pier that had at one time functioned as the site of raw sugar warehouse. According to a press release from the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, the public Pier 68 park allows fishing – with a proper state fishing license, of course – and features an aquatic cut in the pier that gives you a cool view of the water and plant life living underneath.

Situated at the end of Pier 70 Blvd (the exact address is 1751 S. Columbus Blvd.), the Pier 68 park includes a tree canopy, angled lawn, solar light poles, and wave-shaped benches whose design was inspired by the mustaches worn by Philadelphia sailors from the 19th century. Salvaged granite benches from Penn’s Landing are also here and come capped with cumaru slat seats that have specially bored holes to be used as fishing pole anchors.

Read more »

Gone Fishin’: Philly’s Newest Public Pier Park to be Unveiled Next Week

Pier68-Axon_140624-940x540

Construction has been humming along at Pier 68 to transform an all-but-abandoned pier that sits deep inside the parking lot at a bustling shopping center in Pennsport into a public park used for fishing, relaxing and enjoying the scenes around the mighty Delaware River.

The new Pier 68 will open to the public on October 1 at 2 p.m., when the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), along with Mayor Michael Nutter, will officially cut the ribbon on the long-planned park. It will be the southern trailhead of the Central Delaware trail, which spans from South Philly at Pier 70 (map) to Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown.

Read more »

15 Homes Proposed for Warehouse on Front Street in Pennsport

Plans call for the building at 1422-28 South Front Street to be demolished. | Photo: James Jennings

Plans call for the building at 1422-28 South Front Street to be demolished. | Photo: James Jennings

It looks like there’s another large residential project on the way in Pennport. Plans call for 15 single-family homes to replace an old warehouse and vacant lot at 1422-28 South Front Street.

Patrick Conway, the listing agent on the property and project with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, told Property that it’s very early in the process and that a community meeting with the Pennsport Civic Association is being scheduled due to the need for a zoning variance. Dr. James Moylan, president of the Pennsport Civic Association, said they intend to meet with the development team sometime next week, with a public meeting held sometime after that.

The homes are being developed by KellyTown, the group behind the four super-luxe homes at 111 Walnut Street. (Side note: Conway said three of those on Walnut Street have already been sold.)

Read more »

« Older Posts