Back when we last visited this property, it was owned by a company called Brunson Ross, which is surely attached to the family Dorothy Brunson. Ms. Brunson, for those that are unaware, was the the first African-American woman to own a radio station and start a television station, and operated WGTW-TV 48 out of a space across the street thoughout the 1990s and early 2000s. According to a commenter from our previous story, there was a warehouse at 3900 Main St. until the early 1990s which was used for decades as storage for a local record chain.
The Ivy Ridge assisted living facility sat vacant and blighted at 5627 Ridge Ave. for quite some time, and we were pleased as punch to see it demolished a little over three years ago. You may recall, we told you that developers were planning a project called Kingsley Court in its place, a suburban-style development of 32 twins built around a cul de sac. We weren't so amped about the development because of a lack of density given the huge size of the property, what we saw as a missing commercial component on Ridge Avenue, and the use of a cul de sac instead of creating a through street to Houghton. And we were nonplussed by the architecture shown in the project renderings.
Checking in on the project today, we see it's not quite finished, though most of the homes have been constructed. We'd say that the homes look better than one might have expected from the renderings, but that's rather faint praise. According to public record, 18 of the 32 homes have been sold, with prices for a few of the more recently traded homes exceeding $400K. One of the homes is currently listed on the market for just under $400K.
Do you love tennis and have a hankering to live in Manayunk? Do you think tennis is just okay but love the Ugly Moose? If either statement applies to you, a new apartment building will soon be built that could be exactly the right place for you. Recently, we spied a fresh looking pile of dirt on Lauriston Street, a street that we only want to call Laurisen Street because we're huge Flyers fans. Alas, it's Lauriston and developers recently purchased a home and long vacant lot with an eye toward redevelopment. They've demolished the home and this is what we're left with:
Pile of dirt
In an apparently by-right effort, the developers are planning a sixteen-unit apartment building with architecture from KCA Design Associates. Not only will this building overlook the incorrectly named Downtown Tennis Club, but it will also be just around the corner from the popular Ugly Moose.
Elevation drawing of the building
This place will look pretty different than the other homes on the block, and you can see that this will sit on one of the neighborhood's steeper hills.
If you live in Manayunk or if you drive past it on I-76, perhaps you've noticed that a big building has sprung up next to the Schuylkill River in the last year. We last visited 1 Cotton St. about a year ago, when it looked like this vacant parcel was finally getting redeveloped after years of proposals that never amounted to anything. Some people might remember that Connelly Containers was once located here, but it was demolished quite awhile ago. Visiting the property the other day, we see that the Isle Apartments project is looking to be moving along rather nicely.
Coming back from the Poconos this weekend, we hit some traffic as we were heading back to town, so we cut through Manayunk to alleviate some of our I-76 related suffering. Making our way to Ridge Avenue, we found ourselves on Tower Street and at 4120 Tower St., we spied a row of eight new homes.
New homes on Tower Street
Having never been to this block before, we did a quick peek at the Google Street View from a few years ago and we realized that these homes have replaced a squat building that looks like it was originally used for industrial purposes. Most recently, the building housed Intercommunity Action, an organization that provides services for the elderly and the disabled, among other wonderful efforts. They moved to Ridge Avenue after selling the property, fyi.