Three years ago we saw the lesser-known side of Fairmount Avenue, east of the Penitentiary, experience vast redevelopment that spilled over into Francisville. This wave of development has yet to crest, and its most notable addition is the large Project H.O.M.E. 55-unit mixed-use project on the formerly vacant lot near Broad Street, mere steps from the Divine Lorraine, which itself has been the site of many developers’ dreams.
Near High Point, we recently spotted workers hauling in lumber to the ground-floor retail location of a three-story building at 2819 Girard Ave. next to Butter's Soul Food. MM Partners, a developer that’s played an integral role in recent improvements along Girard and its neighboring blocks, bought the building back in 2008. Does anybody know what's coming here?
The developers working on this project also own another lot on this block which we expected would be under construction by now. It isn't, nor are the collection of vacant homes on the eastern side of the block.
Further down the block
Hopefully, the next time we visit the area, the new homes will be finished and the blighted homes will be under construction. We shall see.
Just across the street at 2710 W. Girard Ave. we spotted permits indicating some nature of work is on the way. Upon further inspection, permits first issued in 2011 to use the second- and third-floor for apartments with ground-floor commercial and were reissued in January this year. The storefront is worn but a little work could reanimate the wood border that frames the retail storefront. Next door, Best in Show Grooming features a sign painted by Philly-bred international artist Steve Powers, who's been painting signs along the West Girard commercial corridor that have begun to illustrate a character all its own.
In Brewerytown, the 2700 and 2800 blocks of Girard Avenue are alight with signs of redevelopment. Now, renovations to transform the former St. Augustine's Church of the Covenant, first constructed in 1888, into residential units are leading the way for potential widespread redevelopment of the Girard Avenue commercial corridor that has seen consistent, albeit slow, improvement in recent years.
Part of the structure that runs up 27th Street has already been improved and the formerly faded brick and boarded windows have been replaced. Developer Jordan Brody is overseeing the project, and the vision was designed by Ian Smith Design Group.