A parking garage has been demolished at 316-20 South 11th Street in Washington Square West, Center City, the site of a future townhouse development. When completed, the structure will add nine new townhomes to the site, each standing four stories tall. The buildings will feature stately exteriors with what appears to be a very high standard of brickwork and a molding band running above the second floor and an elaborate cornice situated at the parapet. The tan brick façade will feature large, attractive windows with grid-shaped frames. Each home will have access to an off-street parking garage via a covered drive aisle.
Formerly, the site was home to a three-story parking garage. On paper, that may not sound very interesting, but in reality the garage was one of the most unique in the city, featuring an attractive Art Deco facade with detailed brickwork was located on the upper two floors and an ornate crown. The ground floor treatment somewhat disturbed the pedestrian experience through the curb cuts and garage doors.
The garage is no longer standing. The former image of the site shown above was taken this past May, when YIMBY spotted site prep on the project, hinting at an imminent demolition. This seems to have proved accurate, as the garage was subsequently reduced to a pile of rubble.
The site currently persists in an in-between stage that follows demolition and precedes full excavation and foundation work, similar to the state of 204 South 12th Street nearby. The site is fenced off from the three streets adjacent to the property through a chain link fence, with a scattered mass of concrete and bricks left over from the former garage at the lot itself. No excavation equipment has been observed on the site at this time, though hopefully work gets underway without the site from sitting idle for too long.
In a way, the project seems to be somewhat of a break-even over the former conditions at the site. While the nine new homes will look fantastic and be a solid addition to the area’s luxury housing stock, it does seem that the site could have supported more density, and perhaps a retail space on the ground floor. A desirable solution would have involved conversion of the parking garage to residential units. A unique retail or restaurant space could have been situated on the ground floor, with loft-style residential units on the upper two floors. An overbuild could have also worked if structurally feasible. Nevertheless, the new project will still be adding multiple residential units to a site currently occupied by none, which certainly a positive change.
YIMBY will continue to observe progress made on the development.