Francisville

Definitely a change for the better

This past winter, we told you about plans to demolish a two-story garage at 1817 Wylie St., a plan that was on its face a good thing. With all of the residential development that's taken place throughout the area in recent years, the garage simply didn't fit into the fabric of the neighborhood moving forward. On the other hand, the building boasted a fun graffitti-mural that we always enjoyed, so it was a bummer to lose that bit of street art. But alas, in changing neighborhoods that kind of thing is gonna happen.

In the past

Going by this address today, not even a year later, you'll find two new buildings from MJL Properties, each of which contains four units. At one of the buildings, three of the units have sold and it looks like the last one could soon have a buyer too. For the second building, three units are available for sale and one is under agreement. While it's true that these buildings don't blend in with the older buildings in the area, we're into the contemporary look.

Triplexes will replace it

Francisville will soon get five new triplexes, but it will come at the expense of a church. We happened to pass by the 1500 block of Cambridge St. the other day and noticed a zoning notice at 1510 Cambridge St., the home of the Church of God Through the Truth. Many churches around town are architectural spectacles, but this one looks like it may have had a former life as a warehouse or garage.

The church

The building, along with the vacant lot to the west, were listed for sale earlier this year for $1.3M. Last week, developers went before the ZBA for permission to build five triplexes here. This is necessary because this side of the block is zoned for commercial use. Perhaps this was appropriate at one point, but now residential seems like the correct path. The north side of the block is entirely residential, with a line of buildings that have seemingly escaped the wave of development that's swept over the neighborhood in the last few years.

Just a block up from other new construction

The 700 block of N. 19th St. has changed some in recent years, with developers demolishing one-story homes built by PHA in the 1980s and replacing them with modern buildings. Most recently, we told you about some demolition on this block, and plans for a six-unit building. That project, at 742 N. 19th St., has progressed nicely since the winter.

Six-unit building under construction, new duplex nearby

The 800 block of N. 19th St. has seen some recent development as well, notably the construction of four triplexes at the corner of 19th & Brown, a lot that was formerly the site of a pleasant unity mural. And this block should be getting some more triplexes in the near future.

What will go into the retail space?

The 1700 block of Folsom Street sat mostly vacant for many years but the Folsom Powerhouse project has brought amazing new life to this street. This project from Equinox Management & Construction and Postgreen Homes and designed by by Interface Studio Architects is getting built in phases. We last checked in on this project around Thanksgiving when the first phase, three townhomes and four duplexes, had just wrapped up. Construction was just getting underway on two larger buildings, one with four apartments and a commercial space and a second one with six apartments. The months have passed and those buildings have progressed quite nicely.

Looks all contemporary and stuff

The Exchange Lofts building at 17th & Poplar is one of our favorites around town. The property was designed by architect John Torrey Windrim as a Bell Telephone Company exchange (see what they did there?) but sat vacant and deteriorating for several years. Thankfully, developers purchased the handsome structure in 2007 and set to the task of bringing it back to life in the form of eight condos across four floors.

In the past

A couple years back, we told you of plans for The Exchange, Phase II, a new seven-story building next to the Exchange Lofts that would mean sixteeen additional units for this corner. At the time, we praised the architecture of this project for taking a very contemporary approach, making no effort to match the existing property. The project took a little while to get off the ground but at this point you get a really good idea of what it will look like when it's finished.

Recent shot

Pretty cool, eh?

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