As Brewerytown has boomed, development has continued to push northward toward Strawberry Mansion and eastward toward Sharswood. As you might be aware, there’s only so much market rate development possible in Sharswood, since PHA is currently in the middle of a significant neighborhood transformation plan which will ultimately entail the construction of over 1,000 new units of affordable housing. As that plan also included PHA purchasing hundreds of properties via eminent domain, there’s not nearly as much privately owned property in the neighborhood as there once was. And since the plan is only partially executed, PHA owns a ton of vacant land on various blocks of Sharswood. Take the 2400 block of W. Master Street, for example, where the Housing Authority owns nearly two fist fulls of empty lots.
There’s one stretch of lots that isn’t owned by the Housing Authority on this block, and that’s 2404-12 W. Master St., a stretch of five lots that were sitting empty for at least a decade. It seems these lots avoided eminent domain because they were owned by the Holy Bethel church at the corner of 24th & Master. The church sold the lots to a developer back in 2016, and the developer flipped the lots to another developer earlier this year. The current owner is now working on five duplexes which we can only imagine will be offered as market rate rentals.
Though it may seem a little incongruous that a market rate developer is building rental properties in this section of Sharswood, we would point out that this project isn’t happening in a vacuum and there are a few other projects on surrounding blocks that help contextualize this development. On the 2200 block of W. Master, we saw a new apartment building rise over the last year, on a property that has once been a church. Just a block to the south, we’ve seen several one-off projects on Thompson Street as well. That’s also the case on N. College Avenue. So yeah, we’re not seeing the volume of development in Sharswood that we’re seeing in Brewerytown, and it’s not especially close. But there’s still some private development happening on several blocks, as developers seek anything they can find that’s in proximity to Brewerytown.