Row of Duplexes Will Fill a Forgotten Lot in Forgotten Bottom

We’ve covered a handful of projects in the Forgotten Bottom neighborhood over the years, but it’s been a minute, so please allow us to refresh your memories about this oft, uh, forgotten part of town. This little neighborhood is located between Grays Ferry Avenue, I-76, the Schuylkill River, and some CSX train tracks, and only has housing on the equivalent of two square blocks. The rest of the neighborhood consists of a baseball field, a FedEx building, some parking lots, a bunch of vacant lots, a couple warehouses, and the entrance to the Dupont Crescent section of the Schuylkill River Trail.

1319 Schuylkill Ave. covers roughly 6,000 sqft and sits at the corner of Schuylkill Avenue and Earp Street. Remarkably, this sizable lot appears to have been sitting vacant for <gulp> over a hundred years. Check out this image of the property today and a map of the area from 1910.

Current view
Map from 1910

This property has been sitting empty for all these years, and now it appears that the wait for redevelopment is finally nearing its conclusion. Developers bought the property a couple years back and as of last summer, have building permits to redraw the lot lines and build five duplexes and a mixed-use building (!) with two apartments over retail space. We also found an expired listing for the property which included a rendering for the project, to give a sense of what’s coming soon.

Project rendering

Since we’ve covered this neighborhood previously, you should of course assume there’s at least been a little development in the area in the last few years. Nearby, we can see one recent and another ongoing project. Just last year, the same builder constructed a pair of homes behind this property on the 3600 block of Sears Street. They appear to be rentals, which might indicate a similar future for Schuylkill Avenue project. Further away, we see someone else doing a major rehab job on the 3600 block of Wharton.

New buildings and construction to the north
Entrance to the Schuylkill Banks, just steps away

We’ve always thought that this neighborhood was loaded with potential, and developers are finally catching on, it seems. With the upcoming connection of the Grays Ferry Crescent section of the Schuylkill River Trail to Bartram’s Garden, we suspect this neighborhood will soon receive additional attention. This should ramp up even more in a few years, once the crescent connects to the main trail when the Christian to Crescent project moves forward. Whether the neighborhood will change its name at that time is still up for debate.

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