On the western end of University City, the 5000 block of Baltimore Avenue is experiencing rapid change.
Here is where the immaculate pink, red, green and blue painted homes and tree-lined suburbanesque West Philly blocks begin to blend with some poorly maintained homes and vacant, blighted properties. There are at least six abandoned buildings near 51st & Baltimore.
Last week, applicants appeared before the ZBA with preliminary plans for full-scale renovations at 5027 Baltimore Ave. that would include a ground-floor gourmet sandwich shop, a first-floor apartment, two second-floor apartments, and another on the third. Gourmet sandwiches? Sounds pretty good to us. Such a shop would represent welcome competition for the Subway sandwiches they’ll soon be peddling at 46th & Baltimore- sandwiches that can be as drab as West Philly homes are interesting.
Future sandwich shop?
The April 11 zoning hearing was postponed until neighbors had a chance to comment on the plans and meet with the owner on April 17, according to Maureen Tate of Cedar Park Neighbors (CPN). Tate said CPN will wait to meet with owners before commenting on the project.
According to the OPA, this property was sold last year for $82K. Two doors down, 5023 Baltimore Ave., which we wrote about last week, is currently on the market for $310K. Property values on that side of the block (the north side) vary. 5029 Baltimore Ave. sold for $135K in 2005, according to City-data.com, a property valuation site. The owners of the urban farm we wrote about this month at 5019 Baltimore acquired the vacant lot for $45K. And 5013 Baltimore Ave. sold for around $160K.
Looking west on Baltimore Ave.
It certainly seems that the 5000 block of Baltimore Avenue, and the Cedar Park neighborhood in general are on the rise. With the opening of the new Mariposa, the potential Apple Lofts development just blocks away, buildings for sale, and an urban farm, the neighborhood keeps heading in the right direction.
We’ll keep an eye out over here for what happens next.