It was over three years ago that we first told you about Soko Lofts and Liberty Square, two major projects that we predicted would change the face of South Kensington. Both promised the transformation of large former industrial properties into mixed-use developments with hundreds of units, multiple retail spaces, and Piazza-like common spaces. Needless to say, we were extremely excited, predicting that these projects would spur a ton of additional development in South Kensington.
Today, neither project has become a reality, but the neighborhood has nevertheless experienced a development surge. About two years ago, we told you that construction was getting started at Liberty Square at 1203 Germantown Ave., but aside from some demolition work the site has sat mostly quiescent. When we passed by the property earlier this week though, we spied something very exciting- a construction fence, a hole in the ground, and heavy machinery actively working on the site!
Folks, this Liberty Square thing looks like it's finally happening. For those who don't remember what's coming, here's a quick refresher: Blackstone Development is building three large buildings centered around a courtyard with roughly 200 apartments, ground-floor commercial, and about 150 underground parking spots. In total, the project will be almost 300K sqft in size. Oh, and we grabbed a rendering from the Blackstone website and it shows a project that will look pretty sweet.
Years ago, we hoped that a couple of large projects would encourage developers to build smaller stuff in South Kensington. Today, with no such encouragement needed, we're hoping that construction at Liberty Square will beget construction for the Soko Lofts project around the corner. At the end of last year, we told you that new developers had come forward to purchase the Soko Lofts site and were proceeding with the project, but we haven't heard of any material progress at the site as of yet. Perhaps by the end of the year? Perhaps in 2017? We won't make any firm predictions, but with Liberty Square now moving forward, we'd say that the Soko Lofts project now seems likelier than ever.