Traditionally, 1802 Francis St. was used as a side yard for 1804 Francis St., the home next door. It was well maintained, fenced-in, landscaped, and an old listing indicates that it was also used as a small garden. When the owners of the home at 1804 decided to sell last year, they made the decision to sell their home to a person looking for a place to live, and to sell their yard to a developer. Naturally, that meant that the side yard was destined to become a new building.
Before we get into that building, we should mention that the triangular lot at 1802 Francis St. is created by the angular intersection of 18th and Francis Streets. Because most of Center City is organized around a grid, a lot of this shape would be quite unusual in other parts of town- but in Francisville, with its central artery Ridge Avenue running at an angle and numerous diagonal side streets, triangle-shaped lots are fairly common. This creates a challenge for the developer of the property, as builders generally prefer rectangles and their accompanying right angles. At 1802 Francis St., the odd shape of the lot provided an opportunity for a very unusual (and expensive) home for the area, which is now under construction.
As we stated, this is a single-family home, though the property is zoned for commercial use. The developers needed to get a variance to exempt them from retail on the first floor and for a few dimensional considerations, created by the shape of the lot. Through that process, they got a variance to include a curb cut for two-car parking, which is a rare offering in this neighborhood where parking pressure has increased with additional development over the last decade. According to the project page from Design Pro Development, the home will include 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, and 3,200 sqft of living space, with a $1.2M list price. Are you interested in the home? Too bad- it’s already under agreement. Good thing for you, there’s still a few triangle properties around Francisville on which you could build the angled home of your dreams. For now, at least.