Large Apartment Building Coming to the 5000 Block of Springfield?

We were rather surprised, last month, when we learned about a plan for twelve units on 51st Street in Southwest Philadelphia, south of the Media/Elwyn tracks. At the time, we noted that it might be a tough sell to get students to live in a building in this location, as nobody really gets too excited about living "on the other side of the tracks." At this time, it remains to be seen whether any students (or [...]
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New Homes Looking Likely on the 3600 Block of Sears

Every six months or so, we direct your attention to the Forgotten Bottom neighborhood, optimistic that it will soon experience a development boom. So far though, it's been a pretty measured pace for development in this little neighborhood west of 34th Street and south of Grays Ferry Avenue. We still think the neighborhood has serious room to grow, as it's got several strong selling points. It's got a section of the Schuylkill River Trail on its [...]
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Courts Reverse the ZBA at 9th & Poplar

Last fall, we were excited to learn about a plan to renovate the long vacant and blighted Quaker building at 9th & Poplar into a sparkly mixed-use project. We first brought this building to your attention back in 2015, at which point we were hopeful that it would soon come back into active use. It may have taken a few years and some legal maneuvering, but it seems that's finally what's in store for this excellent [...]
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Apartment Building, Not Triplexes, Planned For Vacant Lot on Amber

It was a little over a year ago that we told you about plans for seven triplexes for a large vacant lot on Amber Street, near its intersection with Frankford Avenue. Even though a ZBA hearing was apparent on the calendar at the time, a commenter indicated that the project wouldn't be moving forward and we could expect a new plan for the property in the near future. It perhaps took a little longer than [...]
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Broad Street Should See at Least One Sizable Project Get Started This Year

Dranoff Properties has built several significant mixed-use projects on South Broad over the last decade plus, including Symphony House, 777 South Broad, and Southstar Lofts. And as we've told you previously, this company has at least two more major projects in the queue for this corridor. Most recently, we told you about plans for a by-right 28-story building at Broad & Pine that will include 56 condo units, 92 parking spaces, and retail on the ground floor. [...]
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Another Project Underway on the 1500 Block of Ridge

It's been a few months since we were here, so of course it's time to revisit Ridge Avenue in Francisville with info about some new development. We found ourselves in the area the other day and a relatively new pile of bricks suddenly caught our gaze. Until somewhat recently, there was a junky looking two-story warehouse at 1521 Ridge Ave., with a stucco coating on the facade that eliminated any charm the building might have once possessed. [...]
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Development Opportunity in Callowhill, But Historic Fight Could Loom

Walk around Old City long enough, and you'll eventually encounter some people touring the area in a horse drawn carriage. We've always found this phenomenon to be a little strange, and after a couple of unfortunate incidents, we learned that it's extra important to look down when crossing the street in this neck of the woods. Further, we suspected that the lifestyle wasn't exactly wonderful for the horses, who surely didn't enjoy walking around town as [...]
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Developers Completely Rework Saint Mary’s Plan

Forgive us for stating the obvious, but zoning fundamentally shapes real estate development in every neighborhood in Philadelphia. When a developer purchases a property that cannot be redeveloped without some kind of variance, they assume the risk that they won't be able to procure zoning relief and will be stuck with a property that can't be profitably developed. That's a bit unsettling for a simple one-off development, and it becomes more and more terrifying as [...]
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Update: Construction Abounds on the 2000 Block of Gerritt

The 2000 block of Gerritt Street is undergoing a serious transformation, the likes of which we've seen before on other blocks in this very neighborhood. Turning back the clock just a couple of years, this block was split roughly 50/50 between two-story homes and vacant lots. When a block is in such a condition, it adds additional risk to the already challenging development process. After all, when you build a single new home on a [...]
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Student Housing is Under Construction at 17th & Venango

We've made it a habit to complain that the City owns a ton of vacant land but doesn't generally show much interest in selling it off. In our defense, this is a real problem, with City agencies collectively representing the largest vacant land ownership group in Philadelphia. These numbers are perhaps a little old but as of a couple years ago, City agencies owned approximately ten thousand vacant lots. Holy crap, that's a lot of lots. To be fair, [...]
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