As recently as 2011, the northwest corner of 16th & Montgomery was a desolate place. One home with a creepy mural was surrounded by so many vacant lots. It should come as no surprise that all the lots on this corner were owned by City agencies.
Just a couple of years ago
Last summer, we visited the area and showed you that the lots to the north of the home had disappeared. And we warned you that the lots to the south were on the outs. Along with the unfortunate mural. Passing by last week, we discovered that the buildings we previously covered are finished and the lots closer to the corner are under construction.
A couple of months ago, we brought a new project on the northeast corner of 15th & Master to your attention. At that point, it was framed to three stories. Checking back the other day, it's been fully framed to four stories, and brickwork is getting started. When it's done, it will contain ten apartments and three parking spots.
Taller than last time
Looking to the south, down 15th Street, you can see additional projects in the works. But there's one that really catches the eye.
Almost a year ago, we told that 746 W. Master St., the building that formerly housed the unfortunately named Foot's Star Search Lounge, had been demolished. We learned that a triplex was planned for the location, but wondered whether it would ever get built. Considering the desolate location, it was reasonable for us to be suspicious.
In the past
Vacant lots immediately surround the property in all directions. To the west are elevated Septa tracks, and just a block to the north is a blighted warehouse that we wondered about before. Sure, the mixed-use Paseo Verde is a few more blocks to the north, and Temple is not far away, but this is still a fairly odd spot to reasonably expect to see new construction. Yet when we passed by a few days ago, wouldn't you know we spotted a new building going up?
We've been seeing lots of revitalization along West Girard in Brewerytown, and now we’re seeing additional action further east on Girard, near the Temple area. Over the last several months, a longtime vacant lot a brush away from Broad Street has been transformed into a contemporary-looking dorm of a building that’s rather inconsistent with the more traditional brick fronts along Girard Avenue.
Looking west on Girard
Back in the fall, 1509 Girard Ave. was a half-framed out building that we suspected, when completed, would cater to the rising demand of student housing that's gone up around Temple the past few years. Developers Robo Development 1511 Girard LLC combined two lots (1509-11) into one in order to construct the building. When it’s finished, the building will have seventeen apartments and eleven parking spaces in the basement. Access to the underground parking is from the rear of the building.
About two years ago, we passed along the info that Amz Development was planning on putting ten apartments and eight parking spaces at the corner of 15th & Master. At the time, we were careful to inform you that the developers only owned the corner lot, and the Redevelopment Authority owned the larger parcel immediately to the north. Still, with a lot that measures over 4,000 sqft, we could appreciate how they would fit ten apartments on the lot. The parking, on the other hand, was a mystery.
In the past
As you can see in the (slightly blurry) photo above, the project is finally underway. And the PRA lot next door remains vacant. We still can't quite figure out how parking will be accounted for here. We likewise are a little confused about the height of the building. It just looks a little short, especially compared to some other buildings up the block.