Manayunk

Seems like a reasonable way to go

For the thirsty hordes that typically descend on Manayunk every weekend, a project currently under construction has slightly diminished the parking options. Previously, 4304 Cresson St. was a parking garage. Considering its location underneath the rail tracks, this seemed like an extremely reasonable use for this big old building. Incidentally, a public swimming pool was located here at least until the 1960s, so it's possible the building wasn't so old after all.

In the past

But that's pretty much an academic conversation at this point since the building is all but demolished. A new building has risen from its ashes.

This thing has dragged on for years

Over the years, several developers have eyed different properties on the waterfront in Manayunk, and most have struck out. The community has generally opposed these projects because they're not enthralled with the idea of apartment buildings that will definitely flood. Seems pretty reasonable, what with the enormous safety hazard and such. Despite all this, from what we can tell, 1 Cotton St. will soon get a project after multiple iterations over a stretch of many years.

View from the bridge to Venice Island
A big vacant lot next to the river

This property was once the site of Connelly Containers, long demolished. The project, from Realen Properties, was previously known as the Waterford Apartments at Cotton Street and included plans for 270 condo units. That number then shrank to 205 units, per Friends of the Manayunk Canal, then came down to 102 rental units. Somewhere along the line, the project got revised again to 156 units and is now called the Isle Apartments. Looking at the site, a City-issued sign along with the sign advertising the project would seem to indicate that work is finally moving forward here.

Site of former Kowalski Post

We like to think we're pretty good at sleuthing out details for most projects around town, but every now and then we find ourselves flummoxed. The other day for example, we came upon some construction on Shurs Lane in Manayunk, right after the tracks if you're coming from Main Street. 133 Shurs Ln. was until somewhat recently home to the Kowalski Post, a veterans organization, but they sold their property to developers due to money problems, according to Newsworks. With a sales price of $1.1M, those money problems should now hopefully be a thing of the past.

Former Kowalski Post
Closer look

What caught our attention is the extensive work happening just to the south, where the Kowalski Post previously had a parking lot. 

Join other new homes on the block

Yesterday, we were on our way back to town from King of Prussia and cut through Manayunk due to traffic on I76. With Main Street closed thanks to the Streat Food Festival, we got detoured through the neighborhood and fortuitously stumbled upon a project where Sharp Street hits Dawson Street, right near Ridge Avenue. Just a few years ago, the 3700 block of Sharp Street was rather underdeveloped, with trees on one side and cars parked along a vacant strip of land on the other.

In the past
An old view of the block

Oh how the block has changed thanks to one developer. A couple of years ago, Rock Construction Development bought an old building that had been used for parking, and built five homes in its place. Now, they're in the process of building some additional homes next door, filling in the entire side of the block.

Colorful bays

Back in November, we told you about a project at the corner of Ridge & Lauriston, where new modular homes were going up. At the time, we were a little unclear about the number of homes in the project, as the permits called for four homes but we thought we saw five homes at the site. Upon our return it was clear that the permits were accurate. The home closest to Ridge is extra wide to compensate for the fact that it isn't as deep as its brothers.

Finished homes

According to a reader, this project has been a big success. Two of the homes are already occupied, and the other two are under agreement. And they're certainly an upgrade over what was here before, a vacant building with a cracked foundation.

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