Northern Liberties

One is currently under construction

A week and a half ago, we told you about plans for a new apartment building on the northwest corner of 2nd & Wildey, on a long-vacant Northern Liberties lot. Today, we look less than a block to the south to share news of a new building that's under construction, another that started and stopped, and finally, a building that just got approvals last week.

Zoning notice and construction on 2nd St.

Let's start at the south, shall we? 946-48 N. 2nd St. was previously home to a pair of unfortunate old buildings, seemingly sitting vacant for many years. Borkson Properties bought the parcel last year, demoed the buildings on the site, and are now working their way through construction on a mixed-use building with four residential units and a ground-floor commercial space. According to the developer's website, the units will be offered as condos, with two 2 bedroom units and two 3 bedroom units. Sizes will range from 1,200 - 2,100 sqft.

Another project from How Properties

A decade ago, the mostly vacant lot on the northwest corner of 2nd & Wildey fit right in. Northern Liberties was on the way up, but there was still so much vacancy everywhere. As the years have rolled off the calendar, you know the story. Liberties Walk; The Piazza; Dramatic improvements to the corridor on 2nd Street; Hundreds of projects from small, medium, and large sized developers. We've seen so much development in this neighborhood that it's almost odd to see any lingering vacant lots or buildings. A few, like the lot at 2nd & Wildey, have remained. But that lot is on the way out, according to a story from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Corner of 2nd & Wildey

The story tells us that How Properties has purchased the parcel, which measures about 25K sqft. Their plan calls for a fifty-five foot building with 53 apartments and ground-floor retail. The story indicates that there's a rumor that a grocery store could be the tenant but we don't buy it. Taking aside the fact that there's an Acme just up the block, a 14,500 sqft space would only accommodate a specialty store like Trader Joe's. And we have a strong feeling that TJ's would never open in a space that has no parking lot. People like driving to Trader Joe's.

Honestly we don't know what would be the right plan for this location

Before the bubble burst on the economy back in 2008, there were a ton of development proposals on the boards. Some of them were eventually built, but many never made it past the planning stages. One such project concerned 709 Penn St., also known as Pier 35 1/2, and came from a company affiliated with some dude currently running for President.

Rendering of the Trump Tower

The Trump Tower would have risen up to 45 stories and was to include 225 apartments. Tennis courts, too. And a cigar lounge, of course. But... none of it happened. According to a report from the Inquirer, new owners stepped in earlier this year, paying only $2.4M for the 2+ acre site. This parcel came to our attention recently when we noticed signs on the property advertising that it's for sale. And it can be yours, for the low price of $12.5M!

Three different projects are progressing

It wasn't so long ago the the 600 block of N. 3rd Street was dominated by a big surface parking lot and a few large buildings. Change has come in a big way, as today it's dominated by residential development. Currently there are three different projects under construction on the block, with more on the horizon.

Northwest corner of 3rd & Green

Over a year ago, an old warehouse on the northwest corner of 3rd & Green met its maker. And for quite some time, the parcel sat vacant, waiting for new things to come. A few months back we noticed foundation work underway and after another short pause, framing began in earnest a few weeks ago. When the developers are done doing their thing, look for fifteen new homes on this site. We scoured the internet looking for renderings but only came up with outdated images of this project. But suffice to say, it'll be a big one.

Eight home project on the east side of the street

Just across the street, there's been a ton of progress on an eight home project at 609 N. 3rd St. from Bellagio Homes. We somehow haven't updated you on this project since they broke ground in the fall of 2014, but as you can see most of the homes look like they're nearly finished. Remember, only four of the eight homes in this project are visible in the photo above, since the others front Bodine Street. The homes, with architecture work from Fusa Designs, have a nice modern look to them.

A little too close to Delilah's, no?

It's taken some time, but work has finally gotten started on a new mixed-use building at 117 Spring Garden St., a property that sits right next to I-95 and across the street from one of Philadelphia's classiest shopping centers.

New hole in the ground
Shopping center across the street

We last visited this property at the end of 2013, describing the efforts the developers made to satisfy the desires of the NLNA by stepping down the height of the building on its northern side. A reminder, this project will mean 24 apartments, a first floor retail space (which we truly don't understand) and eight parking spots. Here, check out some renderings: