Surely the surrounding properties will someday get redeveloped

North Abbey, the renovation of the former St. Augustine's church at 27th & Girard into sixteen apartment units, wrapped up earlier this summer. We've talked up this project several times as construction progressed, exceptionally pleased to see a church converted and not demolished, for a change. The building has eight units on each floor, with rents ranging from $990/mo for 1 bed/1 bath units to $1,799/mo for 3 bed/2 bath units. Several of the units have some amazing original details, which you can see in the photos on the developer's Facebook page.

All are replacing vacant lots

One block in Brewerytown seems to be having all the fun. Last week, when we spied some unfortunate demolition at 29th & Thompson, we also happened upon a new foundation at the corner of 28th & Stiles. That parcel is actually the combination of two properties, 1225 and 1227 N. 28th St., both of which were acquired by developers last summer when they were vacant lots. The developers have combined the lots into one, perhaps because one of them was just a hair over 14' wide. Now, with a 29'+ wide parcel, they're building a four-unit building.

Corner of 28th & Stiles

You can see, there's another building under construction next door. At 1223 N. 28th St., developers (different than the guys building the quadplex next door) are building a three-unit building. It's a good few months ahead of its neighbor. When they're both done, it will be a dramatic improvement over the large overgrown lot that was here before.

But we don't think new construction is forthcoming

A reader tipped us off recently about some ongoing demolition at 1262 N. 29th St., at the southwest corner of 29th & Thompson. This handsome building was home to an active corner store until somewhat recently, so it was perhaps a little surprising to hear that it was coming down. Then again, with the ever-improving Girard Avenue corridor just a block to the south, it wasn't that much of a shock.

In the past
Current view

When you see this kind of demolition, you can't help but think that a developer has purchased the property and is planning some new project for the site. But looking at public record, the building hasn't changed hands since 1985. Great Scott, what's happening?

We've been hoping for this for years

We've wondered about the vacant southeast corner of 31st & Thompson for a long time.

In the past

Our hopes for this property grew last year when plans emerged for 31 Brewerytown, the 64-unit rental project from Westrum on the southwest corner of this intersection. In fact, Westrum used the southeast corner as a staging area for 31 Brewerytown, mostly to store unassembled modular sections during construction. Last month, that project wrapped up and we said: "With the apparent success of 31 Brewerytown, we're now hopeful that Westrum will redevelop the east side of the 1200 block of N. 31st Street. Today, it seems more likely than ever before." Sometimes we're prescient, people.

Current view

It's a fence! And a pile of dirt! And some heavy construction equipment! Holy crap, something is happening here!

But we're not exactly sure what it is that's happening. According to permits, Westrum is building a four story modular structure with fifty-four open-air parking spaces, twelve interior parking spaces, and seventeen bike spaces. We have to imagine that they're pleased with the success of 31 Brewerytown and this new project will resemble its sister across the street.

Modular apartment buildings are a fine addition

Our last visit to 31 Brewerytown at 31st & Thompson came last fall, when we recommended you dash over there to watch chunks of a new building get delivered and stacked together like legos. With the months that have passed, it should come as no surprise that the scene has changed considerably at this intersection.

31 Brewerytown

To refresh your memory, 31 Brewerytown is a rental project from Westrum. It consists of two large buildings, each with 32 units. Some of the units have balconies, others have parking, and some have both. The first building was completed a few months ago and is fully occupied. The second building, seen in the distance in the photo above, will get its first residents next month.

Two large buildings
Rear view feels a bit Mediterranean

Architectually, we're grateful that the buildings look the way they do. As we see it, the developers have made great strides since Brewerytown Square, built a few years back.