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Tag Archives | Abandoned

What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Fight abandoned properties with Passyunk Sq. civic tonight

The Passyunk Square Civic Association’s general meeting tonight will feature a nonprofit developer who specializes in converting abandoned properties for resale.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of this dump on Federal near 9th?
Pic from Naked Philly

Joe Palmer from Scioli Turco, Inc. will give a presentation about how it works. Basically, the firm acts on behalf of neighbors and civic groups to identify blighted, abandoned properties and moves to become conservator through the state’s Act 135. Then they’ll rehab it and sell it, adding the house back to the city’s tax base and getting rid a pesky drag on the block.

This presentation piggybacks on the civic’s nascent effort to develop a comprehensive abandoned property program. Civic prez Pam Zenzola told us they started accumulating a list of all the neighborhood’s abandoned properties about a year and a half ago (report them here), which Naked Philly wrote about in April.

“In the past year, between questions from concerned neighbors to the mayor making it one of his administrations priorities, the time is right to move ahead with developing a program,” Zenzola said. “People from L & I have reached out to us and other civic associations to start dialog on the subject.”

Considering Passyunk Square’s current status as neighborhood of the year, it goes without saying that abandoned properties are much less of a problem here than in other parts of the city. But every boarded up house is a missed opportunity.

The meeting is tonight at 6:30 at the Columbus Square Rec Center at 12th and Wharton, across from what will eventually be the Wharton Street Lofts.
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What's Happening in:  Lower Moyamensing 

Abandoned 13th and Snyder building finally getting renovated

The abandoned building next to Nick’s Charcoal Pit on SnyderAvenue seems to be getting a facelift. According to this listing on Trulia, the building at 1244 Snyder Avenue was sold on Dec. 4 for $205,000

Finally some activity at 1244 Snyder Ave

The old “South Philadelphia Shipping Center” sign is still attached to the side of the building, although that business hasn’t been open for quite some time. The building has been boarded up for years, so this is great news for this part of Snyder.

Construction workers began working on the building this week, but no permits were posted outside, and nothing was listed on the city’s website.

Maybe it’s just getting gutted right now for a better use in the future. Now if we can just get some activity in the old medical supply store half a block away, the East Passyunk boom can start spreading onto Snyder and beyond. Here’s hoping.

-Austin Case, @arcase

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What's Happening in:  Pennsport 

Is Blatstein’s vacant RiverView warehouse getting those billboards?

A work crew was busy yesterday putting up wooden walls on Bart Blatstein’s four-story monstrosity behind the RiverView strip mall at Washington Ave. and Delaware Ave., which a betting man would say was prep work for billboards that were applied for last year.

Such a beautiful addition to the skyline, no?

Inga Saffron at the Inky wrote about Blatstein’s effort in July 2011, calling the building a “ruin, which looks as if it had been airlifted in from Kabul.” Sounds about right. She goes on to say that his request to wrap the building with a billboard was denied. Saffron took quite the jaundiced eye to Blatstein’s plans:

With the revenue from ads, Blatstein promises to seal the structure to keep out vandals and trash. The wrap is only temporary, Blatstein assured me in an interview, a stopgap until development takes off on the waterfront. “The day that someone breaks ground across the street, I’ll take it down,” he promised.

If you like that offer, I have a bridge upriver that’s for sale.

Or maybe they’re just sealing the building?


The city’s zoning website last shows that a decision on an appeal was continued in August 2011. Usually when you see activity on a building, the appeal is denoted “granted.” That could mean that Bart is just opting to seal the building. Once we find out the whole answer, we’ll let you know.

Paste-up fun on an old broken door
A long shot
The other side, adjacent to an under-95 basketball court and an ice rink. 

Meanwhile, it’s a far cry from what Blatstein originally proposed for the site including the strip mall way back when, according to this Inquirer article from 1988.

The developers of the new Riverview Plaza Shopping Center at Delaware and Washington Avenues plan to convert a four-story warehouse behind the center into 120 apartments. Bart Blatstein and Marc Haber, partners in Tower Investments of Philadelphia, have, as a courtesy, presented a proposal to Pennsport residents for the $12 million project, called Lofts at Riverview.

It would be a part of Tower’s plans to develop 12 acres it controls along Delaware Avenue between Washington Avenue and Dickinson Street on either side of the Interstate 95 exit ramp due to open in 1991.

Even in 1988, they saw the river’s potential. Too bad it still looks like shit.

CORRECTION: This post has been corrected from the earlier, boneheaded mistake about where the building was located. Do you see something that needs a correction? Or something in your neighborhood that needs to be checked out? Email us at

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