Three Different Projects on One Block of Bainbridge

The 1900 block of Bainbridge Street is one of our favorites in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, mostly because the trees on the northern side of the block blossom in spectacular fashion for one week per year in the springtime. Some of the homes on the block are also pretty great, and wouldn’t stick out on Pine or Spruce Street in Center City. But since this is south of South Street, none of the homes on this block are taller than four stories, and most of the homes are a bit plainer than their fancy Rittenhouse cousins.

1900 block of Bainbridge, looking east

The homes on this block sit on nice-sized lots, mostly exceeding 1,000 sqft. Also, all the properties on the block are zoned multi-family. Interestingly, many of the buildings on the north side are used as single family homes, while many on the south side have been chopped up into apartments. We’d venture to guess that this has happened because the dividing line for the Greenfield catchment goes down the middle of Bainbridge, which has made the northern homes more attractive to families, while the southern homes have shifted toward renters, in general.

As we said, these homes are well located, sit on larger parcels, and are zoned for multi-family use. You can probably guess, this is resulting in a burst of interest from developers, as much of the recent development in this neighborhood has lately centered on one-off infill construction. Three such projects are in various stages on this block. Let’s move from west to east and first look at 1939 Bainbridge St., which was recently demoed.

1939 Bainbridge, in the past
Current view

Developers bought this property for $455K just this past summer. At that price, there was no doubt that the old building would be demoed and a new one would take its place. Coming soon, look for a four story duplex which won’t match quite so snugly with its neighbors. And given the price paid for the property, we have to think these units will be condos.

1914 Bainbridge, before
New building

Moving down the block, we weren’t nearly as sad to see 1914 Bainbridge St. disappear. Here, developers bought the property for $425K and have already completed a duplex. We’re surprised to see that one of the units is listed for rent for $4250 per month- so maybe the new building across the street will also offer rental units? Who knows.

1906 Bainbridge St. was the home that was set back
Current view

Finally, let’s look at 1906 Bainbridge St., which was torn down within the last couple months and is already seeing its replacement started. This building was set back from the street by like 30 feet and had a large cement yard in front of the home. The new triplex rising in its place, you can see, will come all the way up to the front of the property line. This one kind of bums us out, as the old home was something unique in the neighborhood and had a lot of potential for unusual redevelopment. Instead, we imagine we’re getting something that’s quite similar to all the other new construction we see around town.

With almost no large vacant properties left in the neighborhood, we expect that we’ll continue to see these kinds of developments proliferate through Graduate Hospital. Especially on blocks that are zoned for multi-family use, look for more duplexes and triplexes to spring up, increasing the density in the neighborhood. This will be great for local businesses and terrible for parking, but such is life for this neighborhood, which is at this point pretty much a southern extension of Center City.

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