Last fall, we told you about 540 and 542 Lombard St., two surprisingly blighted properties across the street from Starr Garden Park. At the time, we also mentioned that Mother Bethel AME, a large and historic congregation just to the north of the properties, had owned these properties for almost fifteen years. One of our commenters was knowledgeable enough to share some additional yet grisly history for these properties; a murder victim was apparently buried in one of the basements of these homes back in 2001.
At the time, we suggested that if the church was unable to renovate these properties, it would be appropriate to sell them to someone who could. Taking aside the fact that these buildings were an eyesore to passersby, the church was not responsible for any property taxes to boot. Earlier this week, a reader gave us the heads up that he discovered that new permits had been pulled for these properties in recent months. All thanks to the new and improved L&I website.
Great, we thought, the church was finally able to get financing to rehab these buildings!
Well, not exactly.
According to public record, the church sold 540 Lombard St. back in May to developer Haviv David. You may remember, Mr. David’s name came up just the other week as the developer at 714 S. 11th St., another long-vacant property in the area. From what we can tell from the building permits, it appears that this will be single family home. It doesn’t seem as though the church has sold the corner property, though there are building permits in process for that property as well. Could it be that Mother Bethel is simply taking the funds from the sale of the property next door and applying them to the renovation of the future three-apartment building on the corner?
Who cares! It’s just wonderful to hear that both of these properties are finally getting fixed up, which will make for a more pleasant environment for people on the block, and perhaps add a couple of regular customers to the queue at Blackbird. Can’t wait to see construction get underway.