Development Opportunity on N. American Street?

If you’re in the market for a big vacant warehouse and some vacant land on North American Street, we’re pleased to inform you those things are very much in your grasp. And if you like cider, even better.

Sign at the corner

We were cruising around South Kensington the other day and happened upon a sign at the corner of N. American & Oxford, advertising a development opportunity. Doing a little more research, we learned that the properties in question are 1536 N. American St., a large warehouse that stretches all the way to Bodine Street, and 230-34 W. Oxford St., a vacant lot right at the corner. There are several angles a developer could take with these properties.

View from the south
A look inside the warehouse

A simple approach, recommended by the listing, would be to build new homes on the vacant corner lots and to convert the warehouse (by building an addition) into an apartment or condo building with parking on the first floor. Alternately, the warehouse could be torn down and replaced with new construction residential development which also uses the lots on Oxford. Unfortunately, none of these plans would proceed by right, as the properties are zoned for Industrial-Commercial use. And we’re not so sure that a variance would be forthcoming, as the City is showing an interest in maintaining the industrial character of N. American Street. So maybe a simple commercial or industrial project would make sense here, but we don’t believe that end use would justify the $1.5M list price.

Restaurant coming next door

Certainly, this area provides plenty of evidence that commercial and industrial uses are viable around here. Original XII Ciderworks has operated out of the neighboring building since last year, producing delicious cider and offering a pub and tasting room onsite. The amazingly named Bahdeebahdu is next to the ciderworks, functioning as both a gallery and as a firm the offers creative services. On the other hand, this block is also home to the Joule project and the upcoming Techadelphia project, both of which feature some first floor industrial uses and apartments upstairs. So just maybe, a project with a residential component at N. American & Oxford could get approved after all. Before we cross that bridge though, someone is going to have to come forward and purchase those properties. You, perhaps?