Big project finally happening

It was in the winter of 2011 that we first told you about a planned residential development at the southern end of Pennsport where Moore Street hits E. Moyamensing Avenue. On a long vacant lot, Design Builders Associates put up a sign advertising Moyamensing Estates, a fifteen home gated community. Prices for the 2,500 sqft homes were slotted at under $400K, which seemed necessary given the location. Center City Team was able to dredge up some project renderings from Landmark Design which showed a drive aisle with access from Moyamensing.

Old rendering

Years have passed, the lots has remained vacant. In March though, Passyunk Post reported that a new sign appeared on the site advertising Moyamensing Place, which was to be built by the same developers. According to public record though, the property changed hands earlier this year for $1.3M. Passing by the lot today, we found that new foundations have been poured for homes fronting Moore and Pierce Streets.

Move in with Uncle Jesse

Heading home after getting whooped again in kickball, it somehow seemed appropriate that we found ourselves on Mercy Street, a tiny block just north of Snyder Avenue. Heading down the narrow street's 400 block, we were not at all expecting to find three homes that had clearly been built very recently.

400 block of Mercy Street
Three new homes

417-21 Mercy St. sit on what were previously vacant lots which were purchased by V2 Properties a little over a year ago. If the name of that developer sounds a little familiar, it's because we've mentioned a few of their projects before. Remember, they have a big project in the pipeline on Front Street in Northern Liberties, with plans for twenty-three homes. And similar to their Mercy Street project, at least in terms of building on a narrow block that's just north of a major corridor, they built five homes on League Street in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood.

With a long industrial past

The southwest corner of Front & Reed is decidedly inconspicuous today.  Standing at the edge of a quiet residential part of Southwark, it would hardly strike one as a once fertile complex of retail and industrial buildings.  But Front Street in Southwark was part of quite a different neighborhood before builders plopped I-95 right in the middle of it.  Indeed, in the mid-19th Century, this block stood opposite the bustling Navy Yard, as shown in the image here below, taken from Charles Ellet, Jr.’s Philadelphia County map.

Southwark at the corner of Front & Reed, 1843

Not shown in the map is the Savery & Co. Iron Foundry, which was built on the spot two years prior.  The photo below, taken from the Library Company of Philadelphia, offers an 1847 sketch of the complex at the time.

And a cool reminder of its past

This week, it seems like we're covering an unsual number of adaptive reuse projects. Seeing churches converted to apartments could be a slowly growing trend, but converting old apartments into new apartments is an age-old effort that's sure to continue interminably into the future. At 1227 S. 2nd St., new owners are joining the long bandwagon.

The building under construction

The developers purchased the property earlier this year. Its current layout has two apartments on the second floor and another unit on the third floor. When the renovation is done, there will be three units, but the layout seems likely to change. It's clear from looking at the building that the first floor once had a commercial use. Wonder what it was? Check this out:

A hint of the past

Oh cool, it was a Lodge of some kind. Perhaps for fisherman of the Adriatic? And what does CFU mean? Hint, it's not colony forming unit, as Google suggests. Looking a little more carefully at the picture of the sea carved into the stone, you can make out the words 'Jadransko More,' which means Adriatic Sea in Croatian. Lightbulb! CFU is Croatian Fraternal Union.

At crazy prices

When we last visited the southwest corner of 4th & Greenwich, we discovered a new hole in the ground just a half a block away from Dickinson Square Park and across the street from Grindcore House. At the time, we told you to expect three new homes on this site. Checking back last week, we discovered that the homes are well on their way.

Current view

Remarkably, the homes are all under agreement. The corner home is listed just shy of $435K, and the interior homes are at about $400K. Just a couple of years ago, we wouldn't have imagined that new homes could sell at such prices here, but such is the reality right now in this part of the neighborhood. And if the still-vacant Mount Sinai Hospital site is redeveloped with any sort of speed, we can see prices trending even higher.

Oddly, the southernmost home is a little bit taller than its fellows. Anyone have any idea why?