Northern Liberties

New homes will have fantastic donut access

The intersection of 7th & Fairmount has seen some excitement of late, and there's more on the horizon. Remember last summer, a new Federal Donuts location opened up on the northeast corner, replacing a shuttered corner store. It's a really nice looking place, and the donuts are pretty good too. At the time, we were hopeful that the new FedNuts location might spur additional residential development nearby. Sure, Northern Liberties has seen tons of construction in recent years, but much of it has happened to the east of here- 7th & Fairmount technically isn't even inside the neighborhood boundaries.

We don't imagine it's directly related to the delicious fried products now produced at this intersection, but there is indeed some new development on the way nearby. The northwest corner is currently under construction, with heavy machinery digging some holes. The endgame here is a project that's been called the Franklin Court Townhomes.

New getting built, industrial conversion on the way

Over the years, we've visited the 400 block of Fairmount a few times, and we've already seen some changes take place. Notably, Callahan Ward built three homes with parking on a deep lot at 444-48 Fairmount Ave., getting an extra home in the project by orienting the homes toward a drive-aisle instead of the street. We walked through one of them right after construction wrapped up, and we can tell you first hand they're pretty sweet. Along those lines, another three homes are now under construction at 414 Fairmount Ave., a project we first told you about in the end of 2013. Back then, plans called for four triplexes. The neighborhood zoning process led us to three homes on Fairmount, two triplexes on Wallace Street, and what looks like eight parking spots.

So many other projects nearby

If you were to look at a map of Northern Liberties, and on this map include new development projects since 2013 alone, you would see projects at various levels on so many blocks. Such consistent development points to an ongoing trend in the neighborhood where you'd be hard-pressed to walk more than a block or two before coming upon a project that's under five years old.

That's the sort of framework we consider when we think about smaller projects, like plans at 410 Green St. for a one-off single-family home. On the surface, it's one simple project. But, there's more to it than that. Right now, the lot is corner parcel and serves as a small parking lot. It's where Green Street intersects with N. Lawrence street, where, yes, there's been new building the past few years. Silk City is around the corner too. Recently, the Northern Liberties Neighbors Neighbors Association supported plans for a home with a garage, designed by Harman Deutsch.

Will have a funky look too

A one-off project on the alley-sized 400 block of Myrtle Street is one of many projects in a few blocks radius in Northern Liberties. The 5th & Poplar intersection is one we've covered a great deal, and in the past few years, dozens of units have come online in the area.

Myrtle Street

The Northern Liberties Neighbors Association recently supported plans for a single-family home at 456-58 Myrtle St., with a request for adding more open space, according to zoning chair Larry Freedman. But the ZBA rejected the plans from developer Tom Cohen and architect Ed Fink at Fusa Designs. Right now, they are adjusting their plans, Freedman said.  Fink echoed those comments, saying the reason they were denied by ZBA was for height, and that they would reduce the height in the new plans. The developers acquired the now vacant parcel, located across the street from the parking lot of another modern style Northern Liberties development, last October.

We don't know, but they're kicking the gym out of the building

When Tower Investments built the Piazza several years ago, they capped the northern end of the development with the Rialto building, a seven story commercial building with a restaurant on the ground floor. At the time we thought it was a swell idea, and we thought that commercial tenants would have major interest in taking space so close to this blossoming mixed-use project. Presently, we know of Darling's Diner on the first floor, the Training Station on the third floor, and a real estate office on the fifth floor. Tower also has offices in the building.

View from the north

Yesterday, we got an email from a reader that belongs to the gym in the Rialto, informing them that another business will be taking over the entire building. As a result, the Training Center needed to find a new home. In April, they'll be moving to a new space at 5th & Spring Garden, but they'll unfortunately be out of commission for about six weeks in between. In their place, either someone new is coming to the building or an existing tenant is expanding their footprint.

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