Philly YIMBY’s recent visit observed that demolition has been complete at the site of a proposed four-story, 42-unit mixed-use building at 841-51 South 2nd Street in Queen Village, South Philadelphia. Designed by Harman Deutsch Ohler Architecture, the structure will rise at the northeast corner of 2nd and Christian streets and will span 54,313 square feet, with a plaza at the street corner and retail on the ground floor. The development will feature full sprinkling and a roof deck. Permits list Beck Street LLC as the owner, Indian Harbour Asset Management LLC as the contractor, and a construction cost of $6.79 million.
The location previously housed a suburban-styled strip mall with several shops, which included a 7-11 convenience store, housed in a single-story, gable-roofed structure with a parking lot in front. Since we reported on permits having been issued last October, the structure has been torn down completely, although rubble remains strewn across the lot.
The new development will offer a marked improvement for the site, eliminating its most problematic features with a minimal sacrifice of its beneficial aspects. The bland, drab commercial structure and the pedestrian-hostile parking lot with wide curb cuts are making way for a traditionally-styled, medium-density structure that will extend to the sidewalk, creating a pleasant pedestrian experience.
The design will be appropriate for the predominantly prewar neighborhood as it will boast a red-brick exterior, tall paneled loft-style windows with surrounds and lintels, rows of bay windows, and even a cornice, a quintessential design element of classic Philadelphia architecture that is sadly missing from many new development, even traditionally-styled ones.
The plaza will offer much-needed public space for the neighborhood, which will certainly make for a more pleasant use of open space than the parking lot that once spanned the location. While the development will add much-needed housing stock to the neighborhood, the ground floor retail will ensure continuity of commercial presence at the site, down to an apparent reopening of the 7-11 (although the proposal should do away with the suburban-style pylon that can be seen on the rendering).
Given the rapid pace of development we have observed so far, we may expect construction to be complete early next year. We look forward to further progress on this promising project.