Meeting planned for proposal to convert 12th and Jackson building into 164 apartments

The developer behind the proposal to turn a former brush factory at 12th and Jackson into apartments is going before the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association in a few weeks to answer questions about his intentions.

Proposed view from Jackson and Iseminger streets.
Proposed view from Jackson and Iseminger streets.

Tony Rufo plans to convert the former factory, which has been vacant since it closed in 2005, into Artisan Lofts, 164 market-rate apartments. The meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium of the South Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School at Broad and Ritner streets.

The LoMo Civic said on its website that questions can be sent to so that those who can’t attend can still get some answers. 

Renderings released in December show that Rufo plans to build two additional structures on the lot, bringing the total number of buildings to five. Other amenities would include a fitness center, dedicated spots for car share and interior parking for bikes, motorcycles and scooters.

Among other projects, Rufo was the developer behind the conversion of the former Hawthorne School at 12th and Fitzwater streets into apartments. He also has come under fire for not being up to date on property taxes and for letting buildings — including the brush factory — deteriorate into nuisance properties.

Of course, you can bring up those sorts of issues if you like at the meeting on Aug. 13.

46 thoughts on “Meeting planned for proposal to convert 12th and Jackson building into 164 apartments

  • July 23, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    So if you live on Iseminger Street… Kiss whatever limited parking options you once had goodbye… List your house now before they even start working on this place…

    And if you live on Snyder Avenue on the south side, kiss whatever sunlight you have in your back yard goodbye. The new structures being built will block out the sun….

    Sorry to all of you people who have tomato plants, fig trees, and grape vines (60+ year old grape vine at that), and other gardens that require sunlight to flourish…

    • July 23, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Oh and that nice family with the pool… Sorry for you guys too… The only sunlight you guys will enjoy will be in the morning hours when you’re probably working. No more afternoons in the pool…

      • July 24, 2014 at 9:23 am

        Perhaps those families should stay and have the values of their property go up? Parking in a city should be hard, thats how they work. Philadelphia is obscenely auto-centric.

        This is a perfect spot for density as it’s near the subway, a bus, and Passyunk neighborhood. You are also assuming that everyone moving in will have a car or multiple cars. We’ve seen thats not the case with recent buildings. A lot of younger people don’t actually have cars and I imagine living in this place is partly attractive for its proximity to public trans to CC and beyond. There is also some parking there.

        Not sure how the sun will be blocked out for the south side of Snyder – when it tracks over those properties on a parallel course. It might effect iseminger st in the morning but should only be a small difference given its only a story (or two) addition. If you are so concerned – you could attend the meeting and ask the developer to create a shadow study for the neighborhood and get a definitive answer. Until then its just a lot of guessing.

        • July 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm

          You had valid points until you got to the part about sunlight.. As I write this now, the sun is just dipped behind the existing structure on Iseminger Street… It is only 4pm… But if the buildings in the middle grow to the size of the existing structures around it, it will certainly block the sun much earlier in the day… Also, please note that it is summer time and the sun is at a more direct angle appearing at a higher arch… In the winter it is much shorter…

          • July 29, 2014 at 10:36 am


            I didn’t say I was right, I was merely guessing out loud. I’ll take your word on the shadows if you see them.

            These points can be brought up at the meetings though. Projects have had floors removed in the past if there is enough support/dissent for it. I think something this dense could stand to lose some units and still meet the profit needed as opposed to something that only has 12 units (IE King of Jeans).


            • July 29, 2014 at 1:41 pm

              Finally! An adult in the room!


    • July 26, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Are you kidding!! that abandoned factory is a disgrace!!! ANYTHING would be better then that. This man is making the disgusting building into something beautiful!! The whole neighborhood will be so much SAFER for one thing. Do you realize how many cars are broken into on 12th street by that ABANDONED factory?? Drug sales?? Sorry about the tomato plants!

      • July 26, 2014 at 11:33 am

        You’re obviously not from here either. No drug sales thanks. We report suspicious activity… You might see a kid in a hoodie when you’re driving through, but thats probably all it is… No need to get out and chase him with your gun Zimmerman..

  • July 23, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    This will increase our property values and the desirability of the neighborhood. Parking is tough but so is having a huge, uninhabited grafitti and trash magnet in the neighborhood. I hope that the plans move forward and I will be at the meeting.

  • July 23, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    The reality is there is never going to be a perfect neighborhood improvement project… for something gained, something is going to be lost. The hope is that the overall impact is net positive for the neighborhood and residents. Large and abandoned properties are a dangerous eyesore and figuring out what to do with them is a challenge. I for one think the integration of mixed housing types in South Philly is a good thing. Apartment buildings when done well can bring residential density to an area to help support local businesses. With the close proximity to Broad St and the train, it’s a good spot to consider something on this scale. Change is hard but we need to keep moving forward. I live outside of this neighborhood, but if you do live there and are in support of a project like this then please take the time to go to the meeting and make your voice heard as well. People who feel this is a bad idea for the project are more likely to make the time and if you don’t, they will be the only voices heard.

  • July 23, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Great…I live on Iseminger st and looks like my parking is going to get eliminated.

    • July 24, 2014 at 9:42 am

      “my parking”

      Yep…these are the kind of mentalities that end up stopping great projects like this. Enjoy your rotting city!

      • July 24, 2014 at 11:10 am

        So true Michelle! You know what it means when you see lots of parking in the city?
        You’re in the freakin’ ghetto!

        • July 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

          Funny how you tried to call me a racist for using the word ghetto before and here you use it so freely now…

      • July 24, 2014 at 4:41 pm

        When he says “my parking”, he does not mean the space in front of his house. He means pretty much the entire block… You want to paint us as being such unreasonable people… But if you work all over the place, and not one specific spot every day, its hard to find a public transportation routine… So you NEED wheels to get there.

        Also, there is no reason why they have to ban parking on Iseminger Street to do this project. Why do they have to ban people from parking just because the building is getting developed? Thats unfair to the people who live there and have lived there for years.

  • July 24, 2014 at 9:32 am

    This project is EXACTLY what the area needs! Only a fool would see that leaving that building vacant is only go to ruin the area.

    • July 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      I agree, AnthonyG, that’s good usage for that location. It should only increase property values around there, too.

      I thought that there was going to be lower level retail on 12th in the original design from a year or two back, but still better than an abandoned factory.

      • July 24, 2014 at 6:53 pm

        I love the idea of first floor retail too. Unfortunately that got knocked off the table pretty early on.

        • July 26, 2014 at 4:30 am

          Oh you love the retail idea? Yeah I thought I did too… But then they open stuff up like take out slop food joints and piss colored painted yellow beer distributors…. How do you like the retail now?

          • July 26, 2014 at 10:24 am

            Your tone is so aggressive. Don’t approach me that way.

            I do love the idea of retail. A coffee shop or breakfast/lunch place like Green Eggs would be great. I do not love the idea of a beer distributor or vaporizer shop.

            • July 26, 2014 at 11:38 am

              Beer distributors, vape shops, cheap food takeout joints, tattoo parlors…. This is what we’re going to get… And they will be HAPPY to force it upon us…

              My apologies Jillian.. I don’t have any animosity towards you. But aggressiveness is called for when one side of the argument is saying “you got a beer distributor! Deal with it or move out!”

    • July 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      So develop the existing structure… Why build a monster building in the middle? It already has a ton of space as it stands… I hate how the smashed out windows and crumbling walls have been an eyesore and a hazard to the neighborhood… So develop the existing structure. It is already huge.

      Why are you not so upset about the upper floors of the old Superior Plumbing building not being properly utilized? There is plenty of space in that building to make some high quality rental space there.. Isn’t that also “exactly what the area needs”? They should have been set up for rental first before the stupid beer distributor got moved in… But then again of course, you also think a beer distributor is exactly what the neighborhood needs…

      Is this new building going to be painted piss yellow like the last building you felt so strongly about? LMFAO

  • July 24, 2014 at 9:32 am

    *not see

  • July 24, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Hey, how dare a’you think you can come into my neighborhood and turn my eyesore into something nice and new. Don’t ya know I love looking out my window and seeing something straight from the 1930’s. It reminds me of when my Grandpop Giorgio saw when he was a kid.
    And Parking! Mamma Mia pots and pans! My 1999 Impala only deserves to be parked right in front of my house so those “other” people can’t get their eyes on it. Ya’ know what I mean. Progress smogress. Keep South Philly the same. Yo Adrian!

    • July 24, 2014 at 11:41 pm

      Two Jewish families occupy two different houses on the south side of snyder on the 1200 block… Perhaps you’ll ignorantly mock them next?

    • July 30, 2014 at 5:50 am

      what is this shit?

  • July 24, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    The neighbors are for the development, we are tired of the crumbling walls smashing our cars and the crumbs who leave trash in the side walk of the building. The issue is PARKING. Center city is a place where you can live and expect not to get a spot. The people of this neighborhood are families ( who have been here years) who sometimes have to drive to work everyday and would like to come home and get a spot CLOSE by. There’s no reason they can make 100 spots and rent the rest- look at how well the lot on 13th & Shunk does. It is wrong to assume all young people don’t have cars. Lo Mo said at the last meeting, ” oh we are going to rent to people who work at Urban outfitters and they will take septa.” I rent to people who work at Urban outfitters and they have cars. Why make a already congested city worse? 100 parking spots would be ideal for this project. Also- what is the price point for the rentals here? If they do not all rent out all the units what happens next? Public housing?

  • July 24, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    So we’re going with outright ethnic mockery now… Is that where we’re at?

  • July 24, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Yo adrian- its a caddy not impala. thanks lomo for ignorantly deleting my comment. Neighbors who lived here 60 years, own multiple houses in this area and actually pay taxes welcome the development, but are asking for a better solution to an issue in south philly- PARKING! Make 100 spots and rent what your green tenants arent using.

  • July 25, 2014 at 11:20 am

    You want parking? Go live in Point Breeze. Or just keep dragging your current neighborhood down, and soon it will look like Point Breeze, parking and all….

    • July 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      AnthonyG man… You really are impossible. Nobody wants to STOP development here… We are trying to prevent ourselves from being squeezed by 164 newcomers and making life miserable. This is no small thing… Stop commenting as if you’re from around here… You’ve already shown that you have no empathy for neighborhoods outside your own. The last business you advocated for, painted the building piss yellow and they have been sweeping their dust and smaller construction waste into the street gutters!!!…(Yellow beer distributor at Superior Plumbing building). The Thai restaurant you were so hype about is a spectacular mess with its grand opening sign still flapping around all crookedly… (13th & Snyder)

      On 12th Street, there is a guy who owns 7 vehicles! Some of which don’t even ever move!!! (I’m talking to you buddy.. With the “Don’t tread on me” flags and bumper stickers and WVU bumper stickers) So, yes.. There are some hard headed individuals around here that are abusing parking privileges and unfairly monopolizing all the space. We can address them too… But we are NOT like that unreasonable example I just mentioned. We are trying to find a workable solution here.

      And again.. I can’t believe the ethnic slurs by the commentator above are welcome here.

  • July 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    It’s about time they do something with that location. With the influx of residents back to the city, I’m sure it will rent out quickly. It will revitalize the entire area from a horrible eye sore and essentially a trash pile, to a beautiful new desirable place. As far as parking, we live in the city, we already know parking is an issue, it goes with the territory! If people don’t like what the proposal is, move! It’s simple! Oh, by the way, if you want sunlight, move to jersey. That’s just a ridiculous statement!!

    • July 26, 2014 at 4:24 am

      This is exactly the attitude that the New York Times article was talking about a few months back… The people that have been taking care of these neighborhoods through so called “down years” are getting forced out by inconsiderate fools like you who think that the developers are always right. “If you don’t like it, move out!” is not something that stable, intelligent, and mature neighbors say to each other!!!

      We have been painting over graffiti on neglected buildings that WE DON’T EVEN OWN!!! We’ve done this over the years because, if we didn’t, it wouldn’t get done! And the neighborhood would not have been so desirable when the influx began a few years ago. Trash clean up? Screw your cute little cleanup crews EPX! We’ve done it ourselves!!! It is only now that these new beer distributors and crap food takeout joints have opened up that we want some involvement from the cleanup crews! And why not? The businesses and their patrons generate most of the mess!!!

      We have been good stewards of this neighborhood before a lot of these newcomers even knew we existed!!! So YES!!! We have EARNED a say in whether parking on an ENTIRE BLOCK OF THE CITY should be eliminated… We have… Yes. We really have.

      Move to Jersey for sunlight??? AGAIN!!! Another commentator shows how how they know NOTHING about this neighborhood!!! We don’t have little tiny rinky dink back yards on this block… Our yards are as long as some houses on the south side of Snyder… So… For the sunlight to get blocked out on that large a space, IT IS AN ISSUE!!! So don’t just spout off an opinion on the assumption that you’re talking about a yard smaller than a jail cell. Caws thats now what we’re working with over here!

      This building is already a monster… There is no reason to make it even bigger than it already is!!!

      • July 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm

        Not* what we’re working with…**

  • July 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Ant g u obviously are a yuppie and not a native. In the 90s and early 2000s this neighborhood was still good and there was pleanty of parking. U say “ghetto” has parking actually not they drive better cars than all of us. All of a sudden people know “passyunk sq” its been there years, restaurants, stores, and all u people just came here and think u discovered it. The city was mobbed – epiphany school had 3 classrooms per grade, the neighborhood was always busy. The parking situation just causes the city to make more money. Not all of us want to ride a bike with u

    • July 25, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      @VF: actually I’m both! 4th generation AND I went to college. Some people rose up, some down…. and the neighborhood reflects that!

      • July 26, 2014 at 4:02 am

        While you were at community college, we were attending actual universities… And you know nothing about our neighborhood. So shut up. I think telling someone to shut up is “civil conversation” on a message board that allows the ethnic slurs issued above to stand and not get deleted.. So there..

  • July 26, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Wow you went to college! Good for you so did I! Not that college means anything about how smart you are or what neighbor your from. Do your student loans prevent you from having a car? Obviously common sense doesn’t come from college.

  • July 26, 2014 at 9:05 am

    And provwitout is right we are the ones who have been removing trash and cleaning up on a steady basis. Theres no city street cleaning its us neighbors. We have been taking care of this neighborhood. All of a sudden these idiots from whereever think they discovered “passyunk square” its all south philly- yes even you people from bella vista live in south philly

    • July 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Oh great, ProvWithout has a cohort now….

  • July 29, 2014 at 11:13 am

    @Prov & VaF- thank you both. you both have demonstrated how little of a grasp you have on urban devolopement. in the end you both sink to you normal lowest-common-denominator and start ranting about “new people” and how they have no right to have a say. sorry, it’s America. they live in the neighborhood, their input is just as relevant. jersey awaits you both.

    • July 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Wow… You went “its America” on us? Jeez…! I had no idea!

      Yeah you’re right. You’re such a high class, well cultured individual.. But if its a “Vape Shop” on Passyunk Avenue, watch how you change your tune… HaHaHa!!! You sir, have demonstrated how much of an absurdly delusional hypocrite you are…

      Oh and btw… While attempting to paint others as beneath you, by saying that they’re sinking to “lowest-common-denominator” levels of dialogue and what not, you might want to try and check your use of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Maybe check for typos… All that good stuff.. LoL

  • July 30, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    why not just raze the whole thing, and make it a parking lot..If parking is the issue why bother making it into anything else? start buying the abandoned and run down homes and flipping them for living??
    just a thought

  • July 31, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    If they’re going to go to the trouble of adding two stories and putting up an entire new building in the middle, how hard would it be to just put basement parking under it at the same time? What were they going to put down there anyway, the world’s largest tenant laundry room? It is an entire city block. An underground parking lot seems like the right thing to do.

    The building definitely needs to be developed, but jamming another 100-ish cars into the neighborhood is impossible and downright unscrupulous. (As an aside, the developers are also screwing their own tenants over by not providing parking.)

    • August 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      All valid questions that the noise makers on these comments pages don’t even attempt to offer a well reasoned answer to… Any takers?

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