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Historic Washington Square fixer-upper asks $3M

It’s a shell of a building

714 Chestnut is for sale for $3 million.
Courtesy of Google Streetview

A historic building in Washington Square that dates back to the mid-1800s is for sale to the tune of $3 million, but the future owner will need to put in a lot more money into the fixer-upper. Bonus if you like Mexican food.

The 714 Chestnut Street building is home to El Azteca restaurant on the ground-floor, but the upper three levels are complete blank slates.

“They’re three huge shells that I guess you would say are ready to be developed,” says listing agent Marcello Ciurlino.

The current owners have been using the top three levels as storage for the store Karl’s Furniture. Today, they’re each 2,500 square feet and feature original architectural details like coifed tin ceilings, large bay windows that look over Chestnut Street, and 10- to -12-foot ceilings.

It’s certainly a unique property with a lot of potential. While it could be converted into condos, Ciurlino points out that it’s zoned CMX-5. That allows for as much as 12 stories to be built on top of the structure.

The building sits on a block of other 19th-century properties, including a Frank Furness-designed structure-turned-condo across the street. Ciurlino estimates that about 40 percent of the buildings on this block are residential.

Recently, the Inquirer’s Inga Saffron lamented that the entire block is zoned for skyscrapers, meaning it could have a similar fate as the nearby Jewelers Row. Still, 714 Chestnut is certified historic, so whatever happens, the facade will be preserved.