It seems that South Kensington will soon see another warehouse turn into apartments. Last week, the ZBA gave their approval to a plan for new construction plus an addition at 1508 Mascher St. and the creation of 22 apartments and 8 parking spots. The building has been home to Spencer Industries for decades, with the company producing custom signs for hundreds of clients over the years.
We reached out to Spencer to learn about next steps for the company, but we couldn't get anyone on the phone. We hope that they'll remain in business, just at another location. It's a fair assumption that they will move to another space, perhaps outside the city, and the sale of their property has less to do with their business and more to do with the strong demand for real estate in South Kensington. Just a block away, you'll recall, is the Oxford Mills project, which saw an old dye works building converted into apartments for teachers and office space for non-profits. There's also a pretty good coffee shop there.
Looking at an old South Kensington Community Partners zoning agenda from Plan Philly, it appears that the developers were originally planning to demolish the Spencer buildings and replace them with six duplexes and a six-unit apartment building. We would imagine that, through the community process, the developers were convinced to maintain most of the existing building and do a residential conversion instead. As far as the architectural character of the neighborhood goes, it's obviously a big win. We'll enjoy watching this one move forward, and we'd be interested to learn more about how the project got to this point. Can anyone in the neighborhood shed some light?