If you’re a member of the Philly skateboarding community, you probably visited 1702-08 Alter St. at some point in the last dozen years. From 2007 through the end of 2018, this building was commonly known simply as Alter Street and was home to a huge indoor skate park, also hosting fundraisers, concerts, and art shows during its run. Certainly, when Alter Street opened, the use made perfect sense for this old industrial building, looking out at the backs of commercial buildings on Washington Avenue. But times have changed in Point Breeze as the neighborhood has rapidly gentrified, and the highest and best use for the property has shifted. The skate park has moved to 25th & Wharton, and homes are now much more intuitive on Alter Street- and wouldn’t you know, homes are indeed in the cards here.
The building isn’t trading, from what we can tell, and it appears it will be redeveloped by its longtime owners. Said owners are developers that also own C&R Building Supply around the corner, and they’ve done several other projects over the years on both sides of Washington Avenue. Their proposal for 1702-08 Alter St. calls for the demolition of the existing building and the construction of three homes with garages. Though the construction of homes here does make sense, the proposal is triggering basic refusals based on the dimensions of the new properties and also a refusal for the garages. We’ll see whether the garages get approved, but even if not, we imagine something resembling this project will happen eventually.
Assuming the homes get built with parking, there’s a fine comp located immediately next door. The home at the corner of 17th & Alter was built less than half a decade ago and sold for around $650K when it was first finished. It’s about to sell again, as it’s under contract at a list price of $875K. Even if the home trades for a little less than the list price, it’s still amazing appreciation in a very short time period, and we have to think that new homes on Alter Street would sell around that price point, if maybe a little lower because they’re not on a corner. With that kind of potential, we can certainly understand why the owners of the property are looking to develop at this time. As for whether the homes get approved with parking, it’s something to keep an eye on, as we don’t see many garage front homes get built these days. Considering how much value the parking will add to the new homes, we can understand why the developers are giving it a shot.