Forty Units Under Construction, A Block From Lehigh

Industrial buildings were first built at 2601 Emerald St. only a handful of years after the Civil War, evolving and expanding as different concerns operated within. For many years, a dye works operated out of this location, eventually transitioning to a bottling company and finally Agnew Signs over the last couple decades. As we’ve thoroughly documented though, the industrial nature of this area has eroded considerably over the last number of years, as residential development has exploded. For many individuals that own industrial properties, their land has become more valuable than the business location. As a result, it’s a common theme to see these old industrial buildings occasionally reused but more often demolished. In the case of 2601 Emerald St., we don’t imagine anyone was sad to see it go.

In the past

About a year ago, we told you that this building would get torn down, with plans for twelve triplexes and two duplexes in its place. And lo, wouldn’t you know it, the building has indeed gotten demolished, with the first row of new buildings now framed out in its place. Those buildings front Braddock Street, with the Emerald Street units still to come. While the old building was still standing, it was tough to appreciate the size of the parcel, but now that it’s gone, you can really appreciate the sprawling 20K+ sqft of space.

Current view
View at Braddock & Huntingdon

As we told you previously, Streamline is the developer for this project, and Harman Deutsch did the design work. Already, we see two units in the development listed for sale, with a ground floor/basement unit listed for $290K and a 2nd floor/3rd floor unit listed for the same price. Though they’re listed for the same price, the lower unit is slightly larger and includes an extra bedroom, but it also has more than half of its living space below grade. Figure the upper level units will be listed at a higher price point, since people love rooftop decks. It’s also a pretty good bet that the prices for the lower units will creep upward as the project proceeds forward.

Project rendering

It bears mentioning, these new units will sit one block from Lehigh Avenue, and close to Kensington Avenue as well. Opioids have wreaked havoc on Kensington over the last several years, with the intersections of Kensington & Lehigh and Emerald & Lehigh serving as regular homeless encampments during that time. You might expect that this would give some developers pause, but as we’ve shared on several occasions, we’re seeing projects even closer to Kensington Avenue, sometimes just steps away. As it seems buyers and/or renters are willing to live in any and all parts of East Kensington, figure developers will continue to build on any property they can acquire. Harrowgate, just on the other side of Lehigh? That’s a different story, at least for now.