The 2100 block of South Street has been a little dull for some time now. While the south side of the street has several little stores and restaurants, the north side is dominated by an unused building that was once used by the now defunct Graduate Hospital, the hospital that gave the neighborhood in Southwest Center City its name. That building has been vacant for many years, even before the hospital went out of business and became an outpatient facility in the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Now, a company called Grasso Holdings (Metro Developement), who renovated such buildings as the Packard Grande at 15th & Chestnut Streets and the Bella Vista Lofts at 11th Street and Washington Avenue, has bought the 3-storey, modern building, known as 2101 South Street, and has started to convert it into apartments and retail. The second and third floors will be used as rental apartments, but what is most significant for the neighborhood is that the entire first floor, including a 7,000 foot wing on the eastern end, will be converted into retail, enlivening the long dead north side of the block. The retail that has already signed on to the building is a restaurant, a dog groomer, a gym, and a veterinarian. The restaurant is Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat, a casual restaurant that is already a popular neighborhood eatery on Fourth Street in Northern Liberties. The dog groomer is Doggie Style, which also has a shop at 17th & Spruce in Rittenhouse Square. The gym is known as City Fitness, which also has a location in Northern Liberties at 2nd & Spring Garden Streets. They have already been advertising in the neighborhood. The renovation of the first floor into retail spaces and the upper floors into apartments has already begun and should be done later this year. Rental rates have not yet been advertised for the apartments, but in this neighborhood a newly renovated one-bedroom would go for $1000+ per month for sure.
Having lived in the neighborhood, I know that the block needed some improvement. This development will enliven that stretch of South Street and provide more retail for the Graduate Hospital and Fitler Square neighborhoods. These new businesses will join Omega Pizza at 22nd Street, the only business on the north side of the 2100 block of South, and OCF Realty, LaVa cafe and the Ten Stone eatery and bar at the intersection of 21st & South. According to Grasso’s website, they plan to eventually build a building on the southeast corner of 22nd & South, where there is currently a parking lot. They are already advertising retail space in that building. This development will join several other developments in the near neighborhood, including 2400 South Street, a condo and townhouse development by Toll Brothers that will renovate an old warehouse and build townhouses on South Street, and a row of 4-storey luxury townhouses on the 1900 block of Lombard Street, in front of the old Graduate Hospital building, that are being sold for $2.5 million each. The new retail and apartments at 2101 South Street will be a great addition to the street and neighborhood.