Naked Philly

Across the street from another big project that's coming

Earlier this week, we told you about an exciting plan for the 1200 block of N. 5th St. in South Kensington for 21 duplexes, a mixed-use building, and a public dog park supported by the development. Not only was this exciting news because (almost) everyone loves dog parks, but also because it meant the end of the road for a long vacant lot. As if that wasn't good enough news for this block, today we have info about another significant project right across the street.

Looking up 5th Street. Former umbrella factory in the distance
Zoning notice on the property

1216-26 N. 5th St., like its neighbor to the east, has been a vacant lot for quite some time. And like that neighbor, it will soon get redeveloped, assuming the ZBA approves. The property is actually the combination of six parcels that had been owned by three different parties, so kudos to the developers for putting these lots together into one project. Last month, they appeared before South Kensington Community Partners and presented a plan to build twenty-nine apartments with twenty car parking spaces and ten bike spots. A sign on the fence suggests that Continuum Architecture has done the design work.

Looks like it could happen soon

As the years have rolled by, we've covered plenty of projects on Ogden Street in Francisville. Most recently, we checked in on several projects on the 1500 block. The 1600 block was previously a wasteland of vacant lots, but it has seen a bundle of new buildings appear in the last few years. Despite the good stuff happening nearby, the 1400 block of Ogden Street, which sits adjacent to the blighted but getting fixed-up-soon Metropolitan Opera House, has remained untouched.

North side of Ogden Street, looking west
North side of Ogden Street, looking east
South side of Ogden Street, view from 15th Street

Raise your hand if you wanna move here tomorrow!

But it's a big difference from a couple years back

Sydenham Street, which runs between 15th & 16th Streets, is one of those random north-south streets in Philadelphia that comes and goes as you move through town. If you're at all familiar with it, it's probably because you've been to the incarnation near Temple University, or the one-block stretch between Walnut and Locust that's home to Elixr. Today though, we turn our gaze to the 1100 block, the only block of Sydenham Street in all of Point Breeze. We actually visited this block, which starts on Federal Street and dead-ends before it gets to Ellsworth, a couple years back.

At the time, the block was a total mess. Only a handful of homes on the block were occupied. Many vacant buildings looked like they were ready to crumble. And we saw a bunch of vacant lots too. But our message was one of hope. One of the vacant buildings was getting rehabbed, and two of the vacant lots were getting developed. That rehab is currently on the market, and both of those homes have been built and sold.

Looking up the block

Today the block is still pretty far from looking like Delancey Street, but it's slowly making positive strides. On the east side of the block, a new home has appeared and a second one is under construction.

Now if only the intersection with Delaware Ave. could reopen

While Michael Samshick of CORE Realty continues renovations of the old Richmond Street Warehouse into a mega entertainment complex—including a 3,000 seat venue, two restaurants and more—developers are hoping to capitalize on a reviving Frankford Avenue between Girard and Delaware Avenues.

Warehouse under construction

Only a football pass north of that project, developers want to transform 1140 Frankford Ave., a shabby looking industrial garage that may or may not be in use by adding two new stories. The building was acquired at the end of 2013 for a hefty $220K and sits next to a wide open lot that covers a few addresses and is used for industrial storage. The building will be used for office space, though we couldn't tell you what business will occupy it. The ZBA gave their approval this week.

And a quick walk to Dave & Busters too

The 300 block of N. Front Street is an interesting one. If you start in South Philly, this is the first block of Front Street that runs to the east of I-95, which means it's the first block of Front Street with unfettered access to the waterfront. It's got its old cobblestones mostly intact, like several other nearby blocks of Front and unlike the 800 block of Leithgow Street. A poultry slaughterhouse makes its home on the block. And perhaps surprisingly, it's home to a few vacant lots.

343 N. Front St. in the past

The vacant lot pictured above though, is no longer vacant. Developers bought 343 N. Front St. last year and now it's an active construction site. Those same developers also have purchased the one-story garage pictured next door, and they're building there too.