Monday, January 30, 2012

Mystery Building of the Week-- January 30th

That New Apartment Building in Season City

211 North Camac Street

What the fuck is this?
                    The mysterious neighborhood between the Convention Center and Vine Street Expressway has a new almost-tall building.... that no one seems to know a damn thing about. This building popped up almost overnight and only started getting noticed when it got tall enough to be seen from 676. Does it have a name? An architect? An owner? An ANYTHING?
                   I'm starting to have a small obsession with this small region of streets bounded by Broad, Race, Vine, and North Marvine Street. What the fuck is up with it? Some might consider it West Chinatown, but that's a bunch of bullshit... so I have the honor of being the one to give this neighborhood its OFFICIAL name. You heard it here first, the neighborhood is called... Season City.   Eat that, real estate agents.
                 Why Season City? Its the only area of Center City where both Spring and Summer Streets can be found in the same block. Winter Street also ran through here, but the Vine Street Expressway took it down. Who wouldn't want to build in a place called Season City? An asshole, that's who.

Season City skyline. Just ignore the awesome tall buildings in the background. The mystery building is blocking the view of City Hall.
                  This eerie new building started out as a regular crappy warehouse/garage that has had owner after owner over the decades since it was built in the 40's or 50's. In 2008, the Fujian Investment Group, which is the same name of like 30 other individual companies, purchased the property for $900,000. On May 13, 2009, they applied for a Zoning Variance to add six stories to the old warehouse and build 24 apartments.
                 No one knew or cared about it until construction began in February of 2011.

It begins. Pic from Philly Bricks.
                  Whomever this Fujian Investment Group is, I'm glad he/she sees the value of Season City. Perhaps this will inspire someone to get a hold of all those empty lots and single-story parking garages that plague this tiny neighborhood.
                 The building doesn't appear to be completed yet and there's no signage or anything on it... usually an apartment building this close to being finished has a big-ass "FOR LEASE" sign on it, but this one doesn't have shit. Its also ugly as fuck... but I don't care, Season City needs all the development it can get. Considering the massive success of all the parking lots nearby, more development ain't happening any time soon, but should. So the questions remain... Where the fuck did this thing come from? Who designed it? How come the multitude of websites that talk about Philadelphia development barely ever mentioned it?      
                Its funny that major developers can propose new projects years in advance and produce rendering after rendering and plan a building down every last detail, then never get it built. Fujian Investment Group, whoever the fuck that is, was able to propose and construct this building with barely anyone noticing. That's the power of Season City, I guess.


  1. Love seeing my 'hood getting press, and a new name!

    It's a tight neighborhood. I can't remember the developer's name but I am almost positive it's already been rented out within the community.

    It's probably not the most savvy way to maximize your profits, but anything here that isn't almost exclusively tied to the local community eventually finds it's way into Sl-EZ Park's hands.

  2. Do you know about the City's "Zoning Archive Online"?
    According to their records (which are not updated in real time, actually I don't think I have seen anything updated since they did the initial "go live" in 2009) the zoning application that was approved 6/30/09 has the applicant listed as Harman Deutsch Architects of Locust Street. Not to say they did the building plans, but they at least did the site plan & preliminary garage level plan.

  3. "Season City". Meh. Groj - you'll never be a real estate novelist. Stick to what you do best. PROFANITY!!!

    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA--- Congrats, you made me lol