Point Breeze is the neighborhood south of Washington Avenue, and west of Broad Street, in South Philadelphia. Once a heavily industrial area, it had fallen on hard times as the older factories closed and the middle class moved elsewhere. Most of the industry was on the Schuylkill River waterfront and along Washington Avenue, which still has many showroom warehouses for wholesale building materials and components. But, much of Washington Avenue and the Schuylkill waterfront are vacant, and there are still some vacant industrial buildings in these areas. Point Breeze and Washington Avenue are adjacent to the very prosperous Graduate Hospital neighborhood to the north, which is south of the very expensive and wealthy Rittenhouse neighborhood in Center City. As in any area where prosperous neighborhoods are adjacent to long vacant industrial buildings in the city (such as in Northern Liberties, Old (or South) Kensington, Brewerytown, or East Falls), many industrial buildings are starting to be renovated into apartments and/or artists studios. One such building is a very old warehouse at 25th and Ellsworth Streets, just a block south of Washington Avenue’s most abandoned and blighted stretch, known as 2408 Ellsworth.
The renovation is being done by Magdim, an apartment developer with buildings at 48th & Locust Streets; in West Philadelphia; and in Mt. Airy, who bought the building in 2011. They plan to renovate the low-rise brick warehouse, with a nineteenth-century style peaked roof, into 43 apartments in the original building and 30 parking spaces in a cinder block extension of the original warehouse, in the middle of the 2400 block of Ellsworth, and on a surface parking lot at the corner of 24th & Ellsworth Streets. There will be bike parking inside, as well as, 37 storage units in the adjacent garage. Magdim received approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment, recently, and has support from local community groups, such as South Philly HOMES. They believe that they can begin construction soon, after they receive the usual building permits.
This is one of the first renovations in the immediate neighborhood, but the surrounding neighborhoods, including Washington Avenue and the Schuylkill waterfront are experiencing quite a bit of new development. In the immediate neighborhood there is a four-storey industrial building at the corner of 24th & Ellsworth that started to be renovated a few years ago but is still vacant, and several vacant and blighted sites on Washington Avenue itself. Along 25th Street, next to 2408 Ellsworth, is an old train trestle, owned by CSX, that is seldom used. It is too expensive to demolish and, also, it would be expensive to reuse it for commuter train service or to renovate it as a neighborhood park and trail, but if development continues in this part of the city it may be easier to raise the funds necessary for those kinds of reuses. Point Breeze has been experiencing several small residential and retail developments, and the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, to the north of Washington Avenue, has been experiencing a lot of residential development, including Carpenter Square, at 17th & Carpenter Streets. Washington Avenue is starting to see development further east, including the opening of NextFab Studio, a large workshop and studio space near 21st Street, and plans for residential and retail developments at 20th & Washington, 18th & Washington, the renovation of another large former factory at 22nd & Washington, and even a rumored apartment building at 16th & Washington. Further up, Toll Brothers is finishing up the development of Naval Square, a very large townhouse and condo development on the site of a former veterans retirement home on Grays Ferry Avenue, and they are well underway with 2400 South, another townhouse and condo development on South Street. As if all that isn’t enough, the Schuylkill waterfront is about to see massive, job-creating development, including major expansions to the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and Children’s Hospital (on both sides of the river) and a large research and office park on the site of the former Dupont Marshall Labs in Grays Ferry. And, the City would like to extend the Schuylkill Banks trail, along the river, down to Bartram’s Garden in Southwest Philadelphia and a new shopping center, with a Bottom Dollar supermarket and Rite-Aid pharmacy, has been proposed for Grays Ferry Avenue in Point Breeze.
The renovation of this old warehouse at 2408 Ellsworth could likely be the beginning of a building boom in another area adjacent to Center City, especially with the other developments that I mentioned. If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in this developing area, or any other in the city, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or follow my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE. You can, also, check out Long & Foster’s Philly Center City Office, here. And, you can view this fact sheet about 2408 Ellsworth and look at my pictures of the building and neighborhood, below.