Joining the parade of new homes in the neighborhood

The intersection of Moyamensing Avenue and Wharton Street is one of the more satisfying in Pennsport, with the unique looking Caffe Valentino on the northwest corner and the wonderful and still newish Pennsport Beer Boutique on the southwest corner. We were making a run to Target yesterday and passed this intersection, and happened to notice a huge banner at the northeast corner advertising a new project. Until now, there's been a vacant lot and a one-story garage at this corner. But that's about to change.

Shape of the lot makes it a challenge

A reader reached out to us about half a year ago, pointing out an interesting property at 126 Dickinson St. that was, at the time, listed for sale. Six months later, the property is still available. Still, the fact that it's a huge parcel in Pennsport gives us an indication that somebody will eventually purchase the property and redevelop it. Perhaps you'd be interested?

View of the property from the listing

The large property is mostly vacant, with a two-story building being the only structure on the lot. The photo shows the extent of the property's frontage on Dickinson Street, but it extends far back and bends around in an L-shape, covering almost 12K sqft. Here, take a look at this site plan to get a better idea of what we mean:

Site plan shows challenging layout

There's 58' of frontage on Dickinson Street, and the rest of the property, while sizable, is land locked. No matter the project, we're pretty sure a zoning variance would be required because the property is oddly zoned for single-family use.

Challenges of an oddly shaped parcel

We've had our eye on the 100 block of Alter Street for many years, and for good reason. In the last decade or so, this little block with Washington Avenue views has seen ten new homes get built, with a bunch more constructed around the corner on 2nd Street and Ellsworth Street. Through all of the construction, an odd triangular lot at 103-107 Alter St. has remained vacant, featuring only the remains of the foundations of an unfulfilled construction project. We were quite excited (as were the neighbors we'd guess) a little over a year ago when we shared the news that new developers had purchased the property and were planning to move forward with a plan for three homes. We passed by the property the other day and were pleased to see that three homes have indeed appeared here and construction seems to be moving along, though perhaps a little more slowly than we'd have expected.

Looking east on the 100 block of Alter Street
The homes, looking west

Each of the homes will lay our differently, thanks to the triangular shape of the property and the fact that it runs street to street. Whichever architect first sketched out this project several years ago (Landmark maybe?) was pretty clever in how they laid out the homes on the challenging parcel.

Already a big improvement over the past

The little lot at 108-110 Titan St. was easy to miss. It was so easy to miss, the Redevelopment Authority probably didn't think they'd face any opposition as they planned to sell it to developers back in 2012. But it turns out that a group of neighbors were in the early stages of cleaning up the property and restoring it into the functional pocket park it was conceived as around the Bicentennial, so the PRA scrapped their sale plans. In 2013, we shared the good news that the Friends of Titan Park had received a grant to work with the Community Design Collaborative to plan a sustainable redesign for the park. As they moved through the process with the CDC, they made significant improvements to Titan Park.

Insert Ten Commandments joke here

Pennsport's Mount Sinai Hospital is almost entirely gone. The building had sat vacant for several years while different developers considered various reuse options for the large building at 4th & Reed, but it was the Concordia Group that, in the end, came up with a project for this site that involved demolishing the old hospital. A refresher, they'll be building 95 homes with parking once the demolition is finished. Barton Partners did the design work.

Expected site plan
Project rendering

We last checked in on the property a few months ago, when demolition had just gotten underway. We passed by the other day and were struck by the fact that the huge hospital building is now almost entirely gone. Just one section still remains, and that will surely come down soon enough. It should be noted that the senior housing next door will not be impacted by the project.