PHILADELPHIA — The building that houses Dirty Franks, a legendary dive bar that has been a Philadelphia institution for 75 years, has sold for $4.5 million.
The 12,352-square-foot building 339-49 S. 13th St. in Philadelphia last traded in 2014 for $3.75 million, according to Philadelphia property records. The seller was an undisclosed partnership.
The buyer was Renzi Property Management Inc., a Philadelphia real estate company that owns properties throughout the city including College Manor a few blocks away from Dirty Franks on Pine Street, Letitia Court in Old City, and 1920 Chestnut St. near Rittenhouse Square.
The property has 18 apartments and four commercial spaces of which Dirty Franks is its most renowned. People are familiar with the building because of the bar. The structure is also well known for its mural of famous “Franks” such as Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, Pope Francis and Frank Edwin “Tug” McGraw Jr. but no Frank Rizzo.
Rizzo, in his capacity as police commissioner, was cruel to the gay community and omitted from the mural. The building is located in Philadelphia’s “Gayborhood,” which was for years a seedy area littered with porn theaters and check-cashing agencies, but over time, the neighborhood has come into its own and property values have risen as it has increasingly become a desirable place to live and open cafés, restaurants and boutiques.
“There was a lot of interest in the property because of its location and people know the building and the corner,” said Ken Mallin of MPN Realty, who along with Russ Panchelli handled both sides of the transaction. The buyer saw a value-add component to the residential and commercial spaces, Mallin said.
What Renzi’s plans are for the building couldn’t be determined. Nicholas Renzi III, who runs the real estate company, declined to comment.
Natalie Kostelni, Reporter
Philadelphia Business Journal