Naked Philly

At long last

It was almost three years ago that we first brought the blighted Lincoln Apartments at 1222 Locust St. to your attention. Remember, we told you about its sad recent history, having suffered a fire in 2006 and sat vacant ever since. Back then, we were stoked to share the good news that progress was finally imminent here, with support from the Washington Square West Civic Association Zoning Committee for the building's renovation. 

View of the building through the trees

The supported plans included forty-four units, with six studios, thirty-two one bedroom apartments, and six two bedrooms. The plan for the building from Cecil Baker + Partners was slated to begin in the spring of 2012. As you can see from the current photos, the building still looks like dreck.

More Fishtown infill

Down near Delaware Ave. along Richmond Street in Fishtown, down from where a warehouse is slowly being redeveloped into an entertainment complex by Michael Samshick—if you pass by on I-95 South you can see some of the cleanup work that has been done inside—another infill development recently came down the pike that will transform a former garage into a duplex.

Current view

The Fishtown Neighbors Association recently supported developers' plans at 153 Richmond St. to add two stories to an existing building. This was necessary because the property is zoned industrial, hearkening back to different times in the neighborhood.

We've written a fair amount about infill in Fishtown in recent months, like along the 1300 block of Crease St. close to Frankford Ave., or three new homes on the 1200 block of Fletcher Street. The common theme in these projects is converting under-used property into residential uses. The moves make sense for developers who can certainly benefit financially from converting a garage or a vacant lot into a new home or rental units that will generate income each month. So the owner who purchased 153 Richmond St. for $77,500 in March, 2011 should do okay.

Nothing stays the same downtown

For many years, the former YWCA Annex building sat vacant and blighted at 2021 Chestnut St., begging for redevelopment or demolition. Finally, it came down earlier this year. A few months back, groundbreaking took place for its replacement, AQ Rittenhouse. Passing by last week, we saw active work on the site, with plenty of steel already in place.

Framing underway

Developed by Aquinas Realty Partners, the builing will join the parade of new construction apartment buildings in this area. When it's done, there will be 110 apartments, each of which will enjoy their own Juliet balcony. The range of amenities we've come to expect from buildings like this will be offered as well, along with perhaps too-easy access to the Ranstead Room. The building will also have first-floor retail space, though we haven't heard about any tenants yet. As we've mentioned in the past, design work was done by BLT Architects and Stampfl.

Should be sweet when they're done

Shortly after New Years, we discovered work had begun on six new homes just off the corner of 2nd & Laurel in Northern Liberties. We first told you about this project in the fall of 2012, after the NLNA had given the project their support. Back then, a rough-looking cinderblock building stood on this site. Now, the ugly building is long gone, and six new homes are taking shape.

Framed on Laurel St.
Back homes have some windows

As we told you previously, the architects for this project are Atrium Design, the same team behind the mansions now rising on Church Street. Like those mansions, the new homes on Laurel Street will possess the typical high-end contemporary look we've seen in other Atrium projects.

Rodin Square in on deck

Back in December, when we last visited 22nd & Pennsylvania, the Best Western Hotel had closed its doors, suggesting redevelopment of the parcel could be on the way. This property, in case you've forgotten, is slated to become Rodin Square, an exciting mixed-use development that will be quite an upgrade over the unattractive hotel we have today. We first gave you the lowdown about it last summer. First time you're hearing about this project? Here's a refresher.

Project rendering

The project is designed by MV+A Architects and will include a huge new Whole Foods, relocated from a couple blocks away. The grocery store will front Pennsylvania Avenue, and will dwarf the current store, which is often bursting at the seams with customers. It will also overcome a common complaint at the Callowhill Whole Foods, offering 172 dedicated parking spots. But we have a feeling the parking demand will eventually expand to fill the space its given. Such is life.