Huge Property Available Near 6th & Berks

We’ve somehow found our way to the 1800 block of N. 6th St. a couple times over the years. First, we showed you early construction photos of a combination photo studio and residence at the corner of 6th & Berks for a Temple art professor. Much more recently, we mentioned plans for three quadplexes and a nine-unit building, all of which we suspected would be marketed toward students. The studio is long since finished, but the student housing still hasn’t broken ground. As we only covered the latter projects a few months back, it’s not shock they haven’t gotten moving just yet.

Looking north on 6th St., toward Berks

Perhaps the most striking building on the block is 1825 N. 6th St., an old warehouse that’s gotten some work done recently. That work is what inspired us to write about the property, as we were wondering whether it might be getting converted into apartments. It turns out, that’s not what’s happening at all, and the work on the building is in response to some violations due to problems with the structure. Oh well. But that begs the question, why would we bother writing about the property if it’s not getting renovated?

Old industrial building

Turns out, it’s currently listed for sale, along with the large vacant lot immediately to the south. The building itself sits on a roughly 10K sqft lot and has about 20K of interior space. The listing indicates that the property is zoned for single family use, but that the current owners have a zoning permit for a 27-unit building. We don’t see that permit on public record, but it’s certainly possible that it exists.

Big lot next door

The lot next door covers roughly 24K sqft with an irregular shape, and has “frontage” on Eldridge Place, a former street that looks like it’s been struck from City maps. The owners are suggesting the recreation of this street, and the construction of a bunch of homes on the south side of the property, fronting Eldridge Place. Here’s a drawing included in the listing, which gives a better idea of what we’re talking about.

Conceptual site plan

All of this could be yours for a mere $1.8M. Of course, the properties have been listed for sale for a couple months and it looks like there haven’t been any bites, which is a good indication that the price is a little too high. Of course, the property has some challenges. First, there’s the zoning issue, with the warehouse zoned for single-family use and no clarity as to the validity of a multi-family zoning permit. The vacant lot is zoned for commercial use, and the construction of town homes would require a variance.

The other issue is one of location. This block is a bit far from Temple, so wouldn’t be a top choice for students. And while it’s close to South Kensington, it’s just a smidge to the north and west of most of the development in that neighborhood. That being said, for those that like futures betting, this block would seem like it would deserve your wager. Saint Benjamin’s Brewing is just two blocks away. A big condo building is under construction at 6th & Montgomery. And new homes built on Eldridge Place would back up to the new homes on Morse Street, and those homes are selling. So perhaps a developer that can work out a lower price and get a zoning contingency can get something done with this property. Certainly, the size and the existing condition of the property would allow for some creative project concepts.