Naked Philly

Developers came back with a revised proposal

Before the New Year, we told you about plans to transform a vacant lot/garage combo at 1123-27 Earl St. into 14 single-family homes. That project was supported by the community and approved by the ZBA in February.

Across the street, the Fishtown Neighbors Association supported plans for 17 units and ten parking spots at 1133 E Columbia Ave., a vacant lot, next door to the Candy Factory building. Designed by Harman Deutsch, it was approved by the Zoning Board a couple of weeks ago. The parcel stretches all the way to Earl Street. This project originally came before FNA last fall, at the same time as the aforementioned 14-home project, but didn't get support. Shedding a few of the units and making a couple of design changes got the community behind the project. 

Three homes are under construction

A few years ago, the tide of development started flowing across Washington Avenue, and new homes appeared on blocks like Ellsworth, Federal, and Latona Streets. But there wasn't a whole lot happening south of Wharton Street, at least in the western sections of Point Breeze. More recently, we've seen a serious bump in construction south of Wharton, with many projects in the ground and some more still to come. Today we look at the 1700 block of Dickinson Street, where three homes are currently under construction and at least one more should follow soon.

Two new homes are under construction

The southeast corner of 18th & Dickinson has been vacant since at least 2007 per Google Maps, and we're guessing for many years before that as well. If you visit the corner today, you'll see two new homes under construction. Emerald Properties bought the three lots on the corner a couple of years ago and now they're redeveloping the properties. The corner lot is zoned commercial and has approvals for a first floor commercial space and an apartment above. They have an application to the ZBA to build a single-family home, but whether they get approval remains to be seen.

One larger project and a couple of one-offs

Over the last few years, the blocks surrounding the intersection of 19th & Poplar have seen so much change. On the southwest corner, a church was demolished and replaced with six homes. On the southeast corner, duplexes replaced vacant lots. Just to the south, a major project resulted in over thirty new units with a combination of apartments and new homes. Oh, and a bunch of homes also went up on Ginnodo Street too.

Six homes that replaced a church on the southwest corner
Duplexes on the southeast corner
A gaggle of new units just south of the intersection

For neighbors who have lived through this sea change, we'd guess they wouldn't expect much more development in the area. After all, what's left?

But it seems that developers have found at least a few more projects to bring to the area. One of them, we actually first told you about a couple of years ago. For years, the stretch of 19th Street between Cambridge and George was a combination of vacant lots and a blighted building. Now the building is gone and there's four foundations. Look for at least a couple of triplexes.

A new Whole Foods is that much closer

Have you been to 21st & Hamilton lately? It's a major construction zone right now, thanks to the Rodin Square project. Remember, we first told you about this two summers ago. Last July, we told you about the fence surrounding the old Best Western Hotel, signifying the demolition was neigh. By the time September rolled around, most of the hotel was gone. Now the hotel is totally demolished and construction has been going on for a good amount of time. Now you can see a good section of the building that's already risen from the ground.

View from 21st & Spring Garden
From Hamilton Street

You can't see from this perspective, but there's much more building brewing to the west, but that effort is still underground aside from some framing near 22nd & Spring Garden.

So many other projects nearby

If you were to look at a map of Northern Liberties, and on this map include new development projects since 2013 alone, you would see projects at various levels on so many blocks. Such consistent development points to an ongoing trend in the neighborhood where you'd be hard-pressed to walk more than a block or two before coming upon a project that's under five years old.

That's the sort of framework we consider when we think about smaller projects, like plans at 410 Green St. for a one-off single-family home. On the surface, it's one simple project. But, there's more to it than that. Right now, the lot is corner parcel and serves as a small parking lot. It's where Green Street intersects with N. Lawrence street, where, yes, there's been new building the past few years. Silk City is around the corner too. Recently, the Northern Liberties Neighbors Neighbors Association supported plans for a home with a garage, designed by Harman Deutsch.