Row of Duplexes Under Construction Near Dickinson Square Park

A reader reached out to us recently, wondering about the ongoing construction on the 1700 block of S. 4th Street, and we had a feeling we’d covered this property previously. And we were correct! Roughly 5 years ago, we told you about the planned demolition of 1709-17 S. 4th St., and discussed the history of the more prominent building at the property. In case you’re not in the mood to click through, the larger building was built as a meeting hall for German immigrants in the mid-1800s and also housed a brewery and a synagogue over the course of its history. But not at the same time. It probably looked way cooler back in the day, compared to how it looked in 2014.

A few years back

As expected, both the one-story building with the Antiques sign and the former meeting hall were torn down shortly after we wrote our story. Alas, the property has sat vacant in the years since then, and we’ve wondered about it ever since. Looking at public record, we see that developers bought the property earlier this year for $1M, and as our reader indicated (and as the below photos confirm), the property is now an active construction site.

Current view
Looking north

So… what’s happening here? Looking at the permits, we see plans for 6 duplexes on 4th Street, a 7th duplex on Orianna Street, and a single family home to the west of that last duplex. For a project like this, which runs street to street, we would have expected a drive-aisle to accommodate some parking, but that would have resulted in at least one fewer unit and would have probably eliminated a few more from the project. We appreciate the effort to maximize the density at the expense of parking- and while this will result in lower sale prices for what we suspect is a condo project, the developers have surely run the numbers to determine this to be the most appropriate approach. Back when we covered the property previously, we wondered whether we might see an apartment building here. The duplexes will surely fit in more with the surrounding homes in the area.

View from 4th & Morris

Speaking of fitting in, the large warehouse at the corner just north of this project doesn’t exactly blend in with its neighbors. We believe it’s used as a commissary for Tony Luke’s, and see that it’s owned by a member of the family that owns the business. We have to think that this commissary could be relocated to another location that’s a bit less desirable, and we wonder whether this building will also turn over at some point in the near future in favor of redevelopment. That property could easily accommodate eight homes or six duplexes by right, fwiw.