A few years ago, circa 2019, plans were announced for a 14-story, 86-room hotel to rise at 122 South 11th Street in Midtown Village, Center City. Since that time, progress on the project has been moving at a snail’s pace, which may be explained by economic uncertainty and a hospitality industry crisis that rolled in the following year. Still, development appears to be ongoing, both in terms of filing activity and on-site action, minimal as it may be. Our recent site visit revealed that the joined pair of low-rise buildings that stands at the site has not yet been demolished, though both appear shuttered, stripped down, and likely gutted.
The two buildings at the site were apparently originally constructed as separate structures, with a two-story low-rise at 122 South 11th Street at the southwest corner of 11th and Sansom streets, and an adjacent brick-clad, four-story mid-block structure at 124 South 11th Street. Since that time, both have been functionally united into a single structure with a unified ground-level exterior treatment and interior function, where the first floor became home to the Midtown II Diner.
Even prior to demolition prep, the joined building appeared shabby to a point where we would call it an outright eyesore if not for the fact that its massing and pedestrian-friendly appeal made for a seamless fit for the block. The diner, also known as Midtown II Restaurant, offered 24-hour, budget-friendly service and was a local favorite for no-frills, round-the-clock dining for over 30 years.
Much to the chagrin of its regulars, Midtown II closed in June 2016, and in December of that year Sansom Realty Holdings, LLC purchased the site for $3.85 million. Progress continued at a slow pace, with demolition permits issued in February 2019, which called for a cost of work of $120,000 and specified JPC Group Inc. as the demo contractor.
Since that time, the building was partially stripped of its exterior cladding and fixtures, though major demolition work has not yet begun. The demolition permit expired in July of last year and has apparently not been renewed. Our site visit showed full construction dumpsters alongside the building, Clemens Construction Company banners affixed to its facade and bollards blocking the roadway, although these fixtures are likely associated with the much larger 12+Sansom development underway immediately to the right.
Such a turn of events may have led us to believe that progress has stalled at the site, if not for the fact that a construction permit was issued in September of last year. The permit matches previously announced project details as it specifies 14 stories and a program of two restaurants on the lower two floors and hotel rooms above. The permit calls for a total construction area of 51,181 square feet and specifies Midwest Construction and Painting Inc. as the contractor.
We hope to see progress at the site in the near future, especially considering that the construction permit expires in April.