Ryan Briggs Ryan Briggs is a staff writer and connoisseur of City Hall intrigue, business dealings, neighborhood gossip and local lore. Ryan has studied, worked and resided in Philadelphia since 2004, covering politics and development issues for Hidden City, Next City and Metropolis, amongst other fine publications.
The Anthenaeum of Philadelphia
Rumors have emerged that South Philadelphia's largest vacant building, the historic Mt. Sinai Hospital, might be getting a new owner after years of inactivity.
Councilman Mark Squilla confirmed that he had heard a "rumor" about an pending ownership change for the property at 4th and Reed streets, but that "nobody has contacted me about what the deal is or what is planned".
Tony Falcone, a realtor at MS Fox, the company listing the property, acknowledged that the building was under contract, but downplayed the significance of the new activity.
"It is currently under contract ... but it's been under contact like four times now," he said, referring to past deals that fell apart. "If you wanna call me in two or three months it might be different; there is some great velocity and momentum right now."
The 300,000-square-foot building was purchased by Mt. Sinai Partners LP in 2002 and has sat vacant ever since plans for a condominium conversion fell apart in 2007. Originally completed in 1922, the complex was built to serve South Philadelphia's burgeoning Jewish population, which at the time was largely poor, with little access to modern medical facilities. After struggling financially in the late 1980s, Mt. Sinai was passed between different health system operators, before it was finally shuttered in 1997. A portion of the complex was sold off seprately and converted into senior housing.
The partnership that currently owns the building is based in Chester Springs, PA, at a property owned by William Isenberg. Isenberg was a former owner of 1200 Chestnut Street, a Horace Trumbauer designed bank, which was in the news after neighbors opposed its conversion into a pool hall.
Mt Sinai, which occupies most of a full city block, had been listed at $8 million in the past, but a realtor with knowledge of the deal said the sale price may be nearly a million dollars below the previous asking price.
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