Randolph Street Project Loses Some Units and Rearranges Its Layout

Over the summer, we told you that Streamline Philly had plans to redevelop a sizable vacant lot at 1500 N. Randolph St., a property we had previously called out as ripe for development. We shared the project details, gleaned from their Civic Design Review presentation back in June, calling for a total of 49 units over seven 6-unit buildings and one 7-unit building, with 16 parking spots. At the time, we questioned the choice to go with a bunch of smaller buildings instead of one larger building, but we also understood why they were taking this approach, from a development cost perspective.

Vacant land on Randolph Street
Previous site plan

The project ran into some rough sledding with the community, receiving 6 yes votes and 43 no votes at an SKCP meeting in June. As such, it came back to CDR this month with a reduced unit count and a completely different layout. You can see in the site plan below, the developers have gone down to 44 units, with a mix of 8 single-family homes and 6 six-unit buildings. Interestingly, the parking has been decreased in the revised proposal, with only eight spots now offered, each for one of the homes. There will be no parking for the other 36 units, aside from bike parking. We aren’t so sure that the community will like this iteration better than the original proposal, but it’s surely worth a try.

Revised site plan

As was the case previously, Harman Deutsch has done the design work for the project. Check out some new renderings, from the new CDR pack. Though the layouts have changed, the general look of the project looks fairly consistent with the previous version.

New rendering
Rendering at twilight
Overhead rendering

The real challenge here is that this 24K sqft parcel is zoned for single family use. By right, the developers could subdivide it into 17 parcels, and build that number of homes, with no parking. From where we sit, that would seem like a major missed opportunity- such a huge parcel should accommodate greater density when you consider the context of the ongoing changes in the rest of the neighborhood. 44 units seems like a reasonable enough compromise, but we’ll be curious to learn whether the revisions to the project have brought it more in line with the desires of the community.