Brewerytown

The block has improved dramatically in recent years

It's been about a year since we last visited the 3000 block of Cambridge Street, a block that's seen great improvement in the last few years. In 2011, when PHA decided to auction off a few hundred of their vacant properties, five homes on this block were included in the package. The renovation of those properties were certainly a big help to the block, something we noted upon our last visit.

The much improved 3000 block of Cambridge St.

The western end of this block dead ends at submerged railroad tracks that separate the neighborhood from Fairmount Park. A year ago, we told you about plans for a new home at 3043 Cambridge St., the property at the end of the block on an irregularly shaped triangular parcel. A reader recently gave us the heads up that construction recently got started on the home and that it's been mostly framed out. They also said it looks totally strange sitting by itself at the end of the block, overlooking the tracks. They were spot on in their assessment.

Entirely thanks to the sale of three City owned buildings

We've been to Brewerytown a bunch of times over the years, but somehow never found our way to the 3000 block of W. Cabot Street. Perhaps that's because the block extends only about eighty feet before abruptly terminating in a dead-end. If you ever visit, you'll discover a mere six homes on the north side of the street and only four on the south side. It's possible the street was once used for access to the J&P Baltz Brewing Company, but they've been gone for decades. As recently as 2011, six out of the ten homes on this block were vacant.

Back in 2011

But the block has changed somewhat in the last couple of years. A partnership between MM Partners and BMK Homes purchased three of the homes from the Redevelopment Authority a couple years ago and they've been renovating them as part of the Stiles Row project. All three homes have sold this year, and the positive change on the block is noticeable.

All of the 3000 block of W. Cabot St.

Also quite evident is that three vacant buildings remain on the block. On the south side of the street, a developer has been sitting on 3008 W. Cabot St. for almost a decade, and an individual with family that lives on the block has owned 3010 W. Cabot St. since 2003. On the north side, PHA retains ownership of 3015 W. Cabot St., seemingly for no reason. They own a seemingly occupied home next door. Wouldn't it be cool if PHA repaired or sold the long vacant properties that they own?

 

Half a block from Girard Avenue

A reader recently reached out and gave us the heads up that a new home has arrived on the northwest corner of 29th & Harper, on a property that's been vacant for many years. So we moseyed up there to take a peek. Here, check out the before and after shots:

In the past
Home has arrived on the scene

Developers bought this lot earlier this year for $72.5K and we're pretty sure they had to take it through the zoning process since it's zoned for commercial use. Sure, it's just a few doors down from Girard Avenue, but if you consider the block to the west, a residential use is a no-brainer.

Renovation and adaptive reuse

We try to visit Brewerytown every few weeks, just to see what's going on development-wise. But there's so many small streets in the neighborhood, sometimes we miss something. So when a reader tipped us off to multiple projects on the 1300 block of N. Marston St., we weren't too shocked that we hadn't noticed anything there before. And we quickly made our way to this block, to see what's going on.

Looking down the block

The block is dominated by a large building at 1327-33 N. Marston St. which was once a milk depot but has clearly sat vacant for many years. A development company aptly named Marston Street Milk Depot LLC purchased the building earlier this year at sheriff's sale for a little more than $100K and now they're doing work on the building to make it safe, per an engineer's report. Once that's done, they're apparently planning a residential conversion for the property which we imagine will involve a partial reuse and an addition. The property is bigger than it looks, measuring just over 8,000 sqft, and could accommodate 17 apartments by right.

Could start a good trend

Buzzing through Brewerytown yesterday, we spied a new zoning notice on a dilapidated building on the 2700 block of Stiles Street, a block that's got more than its share of vacancy.

Zoning notice on Stiles Street
The rest of the block

When we stopped to snap some photos and get a closer look, we realized that the address is actually 2712 W. Cabot St. even though the building frontage is on Stiles and it's just a vacant lot on Cabot Street. Cabot Street's in better shape than Stiles Street, but it also (sarcastically) boasts a number of vacant lots.

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