PHILADELPHIA — A former Reading Railroad building that has been vacant for more than a year after a small fire broke out in it has sold for $6.5 million.

An undisclosed local partnership bought the 5-story, 72,000-square-foot building at 915 Spring Garden St. in Philadelphia from Pintzuk Brown Realty Group Inc. of Jenkintown, Pa.

The property was highly desirable because it’s one of the last available large parcels in the Spring Arts neighborhood, which is undergoing a renaissance. The building is a short walk from music venue Union Transfer, and several restaurants and other businesses that make up a small commercial strip on Spring Garden Street.

“We had over 20 offers and it sold for close to the asking price,” said Ken Mallinof MPN Realty, who arranged the sale with colleague Veronica Blum. The asking price was $7 million.

The building has a “perfect” layout to develop into apartments, which is what the new owner plans to pursue, Mallin said. The structure takes up an entire city block and fronts 250 feet of the Reading Viaduct, which is being transformed into a linear park.

The building was constructed in 1915 as offices for the Reading Railroad and for the last several years has been used as an enclave for artists who were drawn to its high ceilings, natural light and concrete construction.

The space had been fashioned into 100 artist studios. When a fire broker out in September 2015, the Philadelphia Department of Licenses & Inspections ordered the artists to vacate the premises after finding 29 code violations. The new buyer bought the property with a majority of those violations remaining outstanding.

Natalie Kostelni, Reporter
Philadelphia Business Journal

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