A project has been brewing at the southeast corner of 6th & Brown for years, and now it appears something is finally going to happen. In case you aren’t familiar with this property, it’s a one-story building that looks like it was originally built for industrial purposes, but it’s been used for a variety of businesses over the years, including a cabinet maker, a convenience store, a gym, and office space. In early 2016, we shared the news that developers were planning to tear down the existing building and replace it with an apartment building with 30 units and 22 parking spots. The community pushed back, asking for commercial space, and the plans changed to add retail space, to decrease the unit count to 26 apartments and decrease the parking to 14 spots. That plan got ZBA approval in the summer of 2016 and we assumed we’d see construction start relatively quickly. But then nothing happened.
We passed by the property yesterday and quickly noticed something happening at last. The one-story building is getting demolished, which is a pretty good indication that a replacement building from Trinity Realty Companies is coming very soon.
But the plans that got approved a few years back have seemingly been abandoned. Instead, the original developers have flipped the property (for almost twice what they paid) to a new group that’s planning a mixed-use building with retail on the first floor, 35 apartments, and 15 parking spots. Interestingly, the zoning for the property changed somewhere along the line in the last few years, from industrial to mixed-use industrial. The original developers needed a variance to pursue any potential residential project here, but the current developers are able to pursue this project totally by right. Surely, that factored into their decision to buy the parcel.
Canno Architecture is doing the design work for this project, and the rendering of the building shows us that they’re going with an industrial theme to match the history of the property. This will also bookend nicely with the Liberties Lofts building right next door, as that building was an adaptive reuse of an industrial building into apartments. Not only that, but the two buildings together will serve as a nice tribute to the industrial history of this neighborhood, which is seeing more and more of its old industrial buildings disappear as residential redevelopment washes over the area. We look forward to seeing this project get built, and hope it will live up to the image in the rendering.