Feb 22: Hardship at 2 | Bye Broad Street Armory | Catholic parish closings are a holy mess | lost Locust subway station | Front and Oxford reuse | Click that ‘hood

Good morning, Streeters, and happy Friday. Here’s what’s making news this morning:

Today’s a big hardship day at the Licenses & Inspections Review Board: At 2pm LIRB will announce its decision about Church of the Assumption and hear closing arguments about the building at 40th and Pine. The hearings are at 1515 Arch on the 18th Floor. Stay tuned to PlanPhilly for coverage of both.

Developers presented plans to demolish the Broad Street Armory to a meeting of South Broad Street neighbors, who are apparently fine with that, reports Passyunk Post. The development team says the building (on S. Broad just below Federal) is in terrible shape and that they simply can’t reuse it. Instead they’re proposing a new building with 50 rental apartments, 53 surface parking spaces (yes, more spaces than units, and despite the property’s location on the Broad Street Line), and no ground-floor commercial. Perhaps worse still: a 25-foot setback on Broad to create a fenced courtyard. Oof.

Hidden City Daily explains the holy mess that’s unfolding as the Philadelphia Archdiocese plans another wave of parish closings. “There is no clear strategy for decommissioning the buildings and marketing them for sale to qualified buyers.” One tiny glimmer of hope: The Archdiocese has started working with the national nonprofit Partners for Sacred Places, which could help identify new uses for deaccessioned religious buildings. 

Work to install elevators at the 9th and Locust PATCO station has been delayed in part because crews unearthed part of an abandoned station on the never-finished Locust Street Subway. The Inquirer reports that the abandoned station was built between 1916-1918, and then was demolished during the 1930s during the construction of another never-completed Center City subway loop.  PATCO crews “concluded that the remnants of the old station were not historically significant enough to preserve.”

In her column today Inga Saffron looks at the strategies used by John Longacre and Ori Feibush to reshape Newbold and Point Breeze: starting or supporting anchor businesses to complement their residential projects, and – in Ori’s case – underwriting Mr. Fox’s hard work on Naked Philly.

Speaking of Mr. Fox, Naked Philly has an update about the reuse of a textile factory complex at Front and Oxford. Work seems to be getting off of the ground, and windows are being replaced. Last May Naked Philly described the project as having offices, a restaurant, and 118 apartments across two buildings.

Have you played Click that ‘hood? Let this game (built by Code for America and Azavea) be your Friday afternoon time suck as you test the depth of your Philly neighborhood knowledge. 

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.

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