New Apartment Building Will Rise at 30th & Thompson

We were zipping around Brewerytown the other day, sniffing out some leads, when some recent demolition caught our attention at the southeast corner of 30th & Thompson. We’ve written about this property several times in the past, first in the summer of 2013, when we learned it was changing hands and speculated that it would be redeveloped into town homes or a mixed-use development. A year later, we were unsurprised to learn that MM Partners had purchased the property, but we were shocked to discover that they were maintaining the building as a “creative hub” with a mix of light industrial and commercial uses. At least this resulted in the building getting a sweet mural.

View from a few months ago

Last fall, we found ourselves writing about this building again, noting that MM Partners had sold the property and the new owners were planning a six-story building with 40 units, industrial uses on the first floor, and underground parking. It’s now safe to assume the project is moving forward- as we noted, we passed by the property the other day, and discovered that the old warehouse had been demolished. You can still see the bottom few inches of the mural, at least for now.

Current view, small bit of wall remains

On the construction fence around the remains of the old building, we noticed a sign for Stamm Development Group, a company we’ve covered before, for their projects in Francisville. On their website, they describe this project in depth, indicating some changes to what we previously expected. Notably, the residential unit count has gone way down, to 26. The industrial space on the first floor will be divided into four separate commercial spaces, each with about 1,000 sqft. Unexpectedly, the underground parking component will stick around, with a dozen spaces down below. They’re using KCA Design Associates for architecture, and provided some renderings so we know what’s coming.

Some overhead views

One item that’s causing us some confusion with this project is the ground floor commercial space. Looking at most of the other mid-size development in the neighborhood, we would have expected something exclusively residential, but this building will have a multiple commercial spaces to fill. The Girard Avenue corridor is slowly coming along, but is far from being fully realized, and we wonder whether this property will be of interest to retailers considering Brewerytown. One possibility is that these spaces won’t house traditional retail, but more creative commercial, like artist or artisan studios. This would certainly jibe with the history of the property and the neighborhood.