The two industrial buildings at 2139 E. Huntingdon St. were originally home to the Franklin Carpet Mill and were built during a time that the surrounding neighborhood produced goods in countless factories in every direction. The property is on the National Historic Register, and its nomination shows that the three story building at the corner was constructed in 1879 and was then joined by its taller neighbor in 1909. The carpet mill only used the second building for about two decades, closing down in 1932 and turning the property over to a company that made leather jackets, through the 1950s. In the following decades, the building was used for the manufacturing of textile fibers, but it’s been vacant and boarded up for a number of years.
Back in February, we shared the news that developers had purchased the property in 2016 and were planning to convert it into a combination of apartments and office space. As we said at the time, the property’s spot on the National Register made it eligible for tax credits, but its absence on the local Historic Register made it vulnerable to demolition. Fortunately, the folks at D3 Real Estate Development had a plan to keep the buildings while adding something new and contemporary to the site as well. That work has progressed impressively in a very short period of time, at least as far as things look from the outside.
If the name of this developer sounds familiar, it’s because they previously did another major adaptive reuse project not far from here, the Oxford Mills project at Front & Oxford. That development included 114 apartments, with subsidies available for teachers, and 40K sqft of office space for non-profit organizations. The project currently under construction, which they’ve dubbed Huntingdon Mills, will take a page from that playbook. Instead of offering discounts to teachers, this project will have reduced rents for social workers and therapists among its 45 units, and will include 22K sqft of office space for non-profits. That’s fewer apartments and less office space, but hey, the site’s a quarter of the size of Oxford Mills, so from both a density perspective and a making the world a better place perspective, this is some great work by these developers.
While we’re here, we might as well provide a quick update on the row of new homes that recently appeared next door to this project. We told you a little over a year ago to expect six new homes at 2604 Trenton Ave., and wouldn’t you know it, here they are. The homes are now listed for sale, with the corner offered at $450K and the interior homes at $425K. The facades are pretty standard new construction, though the enclosure for the front decks are quite unusual, and will allow for steel cage matches on weekends. For anyone with young kids, this could be a terrific selling point.