Fifty Something New Homes For South Kensington?

When we told you about an upcoming eleven home development on the east side of the 1400 block of N. Howard St. a couple months ago, we expressed optimism that the large warehouse on the western side of the block would eventually get redeveloped. We didn't realize at the time that developers had, in fact, presented a plan for this property to South Kensington Community Partners back in 2013. Despite the fact that it seems nothing has happened at 1400 N. Howard St. in the time since then, a reader noticed that developers from Edgewise Realty posted a listing to Zillow last month which could be an indication that this project could finally start to move forward.

But first let's take a step back. The property at 1400 N. Howard St. is enormous, taking up an entire block between Howard and Mascher, Master and Jefferson Streets. The warehouse that's there today is similar to others in the neighborhood that have been demolished in favor of residential development.

View at Mascher & Master

Looking up Mascher St.

Construction immediately to the south on the site of a former warehouse

Looking at some old meeting notes online, we see that the community came out in favor of plan for 52 homes and 4 small mixed-use buildings and the ZBA granted a variance back in 2013. A demolition permit was issued back in 2014, but it's now expired. A new demo permit should be easy enough to come, unless of course someone decides the warehouse is historic and should be preserved forever.

Looking at the website for the project, which has been dubbed Howard Park, we see the homes are highly customizable but will generally rise four stories and include about 3,000 sqft of living space and a parking spot. The starting list price is around $550K. The green space in the middle is a nice touch, though we'd guess it's required because of stormwater management regulations.

Project site plan

We'd have to guess that this project will be constructed in phases, and it looks like the Jefferson and Master Street homes will come first, with the Howard and Mascher Street homes to follow. We also have to wonder what types of businesses will fill in the little commercial spaces at each corner. On the one hand, the Frankford and Girard Avenue corridors are a few blocks away and residents love neighborhood amenities. On the other hand, this might be a really tough location for any business that requires lots of foot traffic. What kinds of businesses do you think could make it work at this location? Has anyone heard anything concrete about when this project will actually start moving forward?

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