Over the past decade, neighborhoods on both sides of Washington Avenue have changed, with thousands of new residents, skyrocketing housing prices and hip new businesses everywhere in sight. Still, because of the weirdness of the four-lane thoroughfare that separates the sides, lined as it is with relics of an industrial past, the divide between South Philly and Center City remains intact. But that may change: Here are five projects poised to connect these two thriving sections of the city.
Broad Street and Washington Avenue
For a while, it seemed like developer Bart Blatstein, who built the Piazza in Northern Liberties, was going to make the biggest mark on the corner of Broad and Washington, which has been flanked by massive vacant lots for years. But where his project on the northeast corner stalled, the project on the northwest corner, Lincoln Square, is barreling ahead. So far, retail tenants confirmed for the 300-plus-unit apartment complex include Target, a supermarket (rumored to be natural-foods purveyor Sprouts) and a PetSmart.
24th Street and Washington Avenue
Developers have gotten the okay to build a 100-plus-unit apartment complex with ground-floor retail on a vacant lot at the west end of Washington Avenue. But it’s been a few years since the approval, and nothing has been built. Across the street, on 23rd Street, the former Frankford Chocolate Factory has been bought by developers, and there’s a proposal for apartments at 25th Street, as well. Who’s going to make the first move?
9th Street and Washington Avenue
This corner is home to another long-suffering vacant lot, behind Anastasi Seafood in the Italian Market. Midwood Investment and Development has a 70-unit apartment complex planned for the lot, with underground parking and retail on 9th Street. Anastasi’s is reportedly moving a few blocks north, into the building that will be vacated by the restaurant Neuf.
8th Street and Washington Avenue
A zoning permit suggests that the owners of the lot that once housed Captain Jesse’s Crab Shack might be building a five-story apartment building with retail space there—a spark of hope at this rather desolate intersection of 8th Street and Passyunk and Washington Avenues.
2nd Street and Washington Avenue
The building once inhabited by the beloved Snockey’s Oyster and Crab House is being converted into condos at the same time as a construction boom in Pennsport has resulted in a few fancy new town-house projects just across the street. It’s only a matter of time before all the buildable land at that end of the corridor is snatched up.