South Kensington

Also across the street from large residential project

People tip us off about projects all the time. We get emails, phone calls, texts, tweets, etc etc etc. Sometimes though, we find out about a project but cannot remember how it came across our path, and such is the case for 171 W. Berks St.

This building will be demoed

Somewhere along the line, somebody told us that something would be happening with this property. We didn't remember the exact address, but we did remember to look on the same block at the planned South Square project, a residential development coming soon to the 100 block of W. Berks Street. Without doing any research, we snapped photos of some other buildings on the block but had to make a return trip today to actually photograph the relevant property. No matter, there are some nice enough buildings in the vicinity and hey, we sure do like taking pictures of buildings. Note the blue skies from when the photos were taken last week, in contrast to today's cloudy situation.

This has been a long time coming

There are some projects that have been "coming soon" for so long that we just assume they're never going to happen. But every now and then, such a project does indeed happen and we have to pinch ourselves to make sure we're not experiencing some cruel dream. Thankfully, we aren't dreaming about the 1300 block of N. Howard Street these days, because a residential development that we first heard about in 2011 is finally happening.

This neighborhood is indeed on the cusp

That faint buzzing you hear is the background might just be the sound of development in South Kensington. Or maybe it's a lightbulb that needs to be replaced? But assuming it's the former, let's consider that this neighborhood has seen tremendous growth in recent years, with projects big and small dotting the landscape. New developers stepped in to buy the Soko Lofts project at the end of last year, and we imagine that project will start moving forward soon. On the west side of the 1200 block of N. 5th Street, a 29-unit project recently broke ground. And now Blackstone Development has another project planned for this neighborhood at 1222 N. 2nd St., in between the Soko Lofts and their upcoming Liberty Square project.

Right next to the El

A reader reached out to us the other day, wondering about some new framing they noticed on Jefferson Street in South Kensington, just to the west of the El. This parcel, 106-112 W. Jefferson St., had been vacant for several years, but a row of trees on the property made it one of the nicer vacant lots in the neighborhood.

In the past

Even though only some of the trees sat on the construction site, all were removed. In place of some of them, developers are now working on a duplex.

Duplex under construction

Less than ideally, this new construction is really close to the El and a vinyl window company. On the positive side, the Oxford Mills development is located immediately to the north and it's just a block away from Frankford Avenue.

Pretty far up there in South Kensington

Development continues all over South Kensington, so it's no shock that we have news today about another project that's way up at the tippy top of the neighborhood. Yesterday, we recieved a press release describing a new project planned for 182-188 W. Berks St., a lot that's currently some kind of parking lot or car dealership. AGA Developers are the folks behind the project, and you may remember them as the developers from Trenton Stables and Frankford Square. With both of those projects now sold out, AGA is moving on to the next thing.

Current view

Trenton Stables was a purely residential play and Franford Square involved a row of homes and a row of mixed-use buildings- this project will be closer to the latter in terms of the concept. Overall, look for nineteen residential units in a combination of single family homes and mixed-use buildings. There's gonna be two commercial spaces and access to a parking area on Berks Street. Check out this rendering:

Project rendering

On the plus side, this project will sit about two blocks away from the Berks Street El Station.