We last checked in on the Stable Flats project in Northern Liberties over a year ago when the first three units were modularly constructed, and a row of foundations waited next door for additional homes. As the time has passed, those foundations have continued to wait. Meanwhile, immediately to the north, two complete rows of new homes have been framed out, using stick construction.
First three homes
Next two rows of homes
Setting aside the curiousity of switching from modular to stick, why did they skip the rest of the foundations in the first row? Still, it's impressive to see so many homes go up all at once. We'll be sure to check back in here before another year passes, and we'll see if the first row fills up in the meantime.
We've continued to write about different retail that’s filled up vacant spots along the already well-developed North 2nd Street commercial corridor in Northern Liberties, and now a frozen yogurt shop is the latest proposal to reach the area.
Now it's a new mixed-use development with residential units above. It's the sort of development the NLNA is looking for. It keeps eyes on the street and encourages pedestrian traffic. It also ties into the new age designs and architecture that have veered away from traditional brick row home exteriors that has accompanied the wave of redevelopment in Northern Liberties.
Developers from the Klein Company have proposed 108 apartment units at 312 Fairmount Ave., the site of an old industrial building with large windows, and very red garage front doors almost as twice as high as horse stable. They presented this project to members of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association zoning committee at a meeting in February. The NLNA would like to see fewer units, and lower height projections, a common item its members go to great lengths to mediate throughout the neighborhood.
“Basically, we asked them to nip and tuck a couple of parts,” said Larry Freedman, NLNA zoning chair.
Developers would demolish the current building at the site, which, from the exterior, looks as though it presents a fine opportunity for a repurposing of the structure, something that is common in Northern Liberties. That's something a few neighbors wish would happen, according to Freedman. “But it's hard to get people to go for that unless you really love a place,” said Freedman.
This marks the second of two projects that could serve to alter the landscape of Fairmount Avenue in Northern Liberties in a significant way. If something that resembles this project comes to pass and the adaptive reuse of the Trans-Atlantic building likewise develops, the neighborhood will see an influx the likes of which it hasn’t seen since the construction of the Piazza. Stay tuned.
A couple of years ago, the NLNA approved plans for seventeen new homes at 814-32 N. Lawrence St., which was previously home to the Marcis Wire Works. A large red warehouse has been located on this corner for generations, but it was demolished at some point in the last couple of months.
In the past
Looking at the minutes from an NLNA meeting in the summer of 2012, some of the homes will be fronting Lawrence Street, across the way from the first Duck Flats phase, and some of the homes will front Orkney Street. Each of the homes will have two-car parking, which seems to be a big selling point for both the neighborhood group and buyers in the area. FUSA Designs has done the architecture for the project, and a rep tells us that the water department has finally signed off on the project, opening the door for things to start moving forward.
Every few months in Northern Liberties, it seems another former industrial building is being demolished. In place of these former warehouses and factories, new single-family homes, rental units, and sometimes mixed-use projects are arriving.
Developers that want to build ten new single-family homes at 600 N. 4th St., where now stands a particularly bland looking garage, appeared last month before the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association zoning committee. But they’ll need to come back with a project that runs more alongside zoning code standards before the NLNA will support the project.
This building would go
That means lowering the height and likely reducing the number of units to nine or eight, to make for a better fit at the site, according to Larry Freedman, NLNA zoning chair. This is a constant refrain the NLNA has voiced to developers that want to build in Northern Liberties. While the NLNA wants some density, they prefer it not to be at the cost of jam packing lots. They want that density spread out across the neighborhood, so to speak.