|So that's where I left my tissue box!|
As implied above, the block that this property sits on was once a decades-strong surface lot that only got re-enforced by the long-ass construction of the Center City Commuter Connection Tunnel in the mid-80s. Even back then, Pan-Am Realty was interested in acquiring the lot and building some new residential and retail to add to the already short-of-available-housing Chinatown and boost development in the gigantic deadzone between there and Franklin Square. The problem was, they couldn't afford to buy the space off of the Re-Development Authority, who controlled it for years (before the CCCC tunnel's construction it was part of Independence Mall's property, which is weird).
In 2003, they teamed up with Parkway Corp to develop just this one property, forming the ridiculously-named Nine Arch Associates (its at 9th and Arch, get it?). They commissioned the firm of Vollmer Associates to come up with a design for a new condominium, some of the first new construction to his this area since the CCCC tunnel tore through. By 2005 they were ready for an official proposal. The new condominium would have 90 units, 12 retail spaces, 6 floors, and 121 surface parking spaces.
The design was, shall we say, ABSOLUTE TAINT!
|One of the final renderings|
|Under construction as seen from the sky. They couldn't wait to get the parking lot done. Images from Google.|
You'd think that a condo that sold out so quickly would spur more development in the deadzone to the north and east, but it still hasn't happened. The renovation of the PPA Eighth Street Parking Plaza is now underway and a new quasi-halfway house/old folks home will soon be built on the same block as that garage... but other than that, NIENTE! Maybe Parkway needs to get into another Marvel Team-Up with a local developer to get another project like this going. Please... don't make it so fucking ugly next time.
|Cool dragons, shitty surface lot.|