The area of West Girard Avenue between Northern Liberties and Broad Street has finally started to see some developments move forward over the last few years. There have been many infill and small rehab projects as well as larger projects surrounding the avenue. We also told you about a plan for a 120-unit mixed-use project at 10th and Girard, which has still not broken ground.
One property that has likely caught your eye if you frequent this area is 625-27 W. Girard Ave. The 11,363 square foot CMX-2 zoned parcel holds a nearly 44,000 square foot building that began its life in 1891 as the Girard Avenue Theater. Check out the Hidden City article about the theater for more history and pictures of the building. The building was more recently a Fine Fare market. The article linked to above shows some of the intricate old details from the theater that were hidden (pun intended) throughout the market.
Developers purchased the property in November 2017 for $1.1 million. In June of 2018, they pulled demolition permits for the building, but it has sat in the same blighted condition since then. In January of this year, use permits were pulled for a six-story, 48-unit building with two commercial spaces and 16 bike parking spots. One of the commercial spaces will be a fresh food market. The building will also be topped by a green roof. The development team is using both the green roof density bonus and the fresh food market height bonus.
We had not seen any action at the site all year. The original demolition permit ended up expiring. Then, in September, a new demolition permit was pulled. Within the last week, we finally saw demolition begin on the property.
We are sad to see another historic theater bite the dust. However, this one may have been beyond saving. Most of the exterior architectural details had already been destroyed. In its current condition, the building was only hampering the surrounding area. We are happy to see another blighted property on Girard Avenue get developed and look forward to seeing the energy that 48+ new residents and two new commercial storefronts bring to the corridor.
As a side note, a new bar called The Ambassador just opened on the same block at 635 W Girard. The owners did a very nice job with the interior fit out. Get there and see it for yourself. It should have many new customers within the next couple of years with the 48-unit project coming on board along with the 120-unit project at 10th and Girard and the 285-unit renovation project happening at 9th and Poplar.
Kyle is a Philadelphia real estate agent on the Agent PHL team at Compass, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients find homes, investment properties, and development opportunities.
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