Former Church Going Residential Near the Divine Lorraine

A few readers have reached out to us in recent weeks, wondering about what looks like some early stage construction activity near Broad & Fairmount. We wrote a story about the former Apostolic church at 1406 Fairmount Ave. waaaay back in 2011, pondering its future after its owners unsuccessfully listed it for sale for $1.4M. Even with the property going back on the market in 2012 with the price dipping to $1.15M, nobody stepped forward to purchase the building. It appears little has changed for this property in the last eight years, but the longtime owners now look like they’re finally moving forward with a renovation.

View through the trees
Clearer view of the building

Back in 2016, the owners of the property pulled an over the counter permit to convert the building into a 17 apartments. The next year, they got an alteration permit for the building, and last summer they pulled an administrative permit to the same end, taking certain underpinning and engineering issues into account. With workers now moving in and out of the building, it appears that work is finally moving forward, and Fairmount Avenue will gain a number of new residents in the relatively near future.

JBJ Soul Homes, across the street
Newer apartment building in the foreground, Devine Lorraine in the background

It feels like a lifetime ago that we previously covered this property, and the changes in the immediate area only reinforce that sentiment. The mixed-use building at 15th & Fairmount went up in 2012, replacing a seafood warehouse. JBJ Soul Homes followed about a year later, bringing 55 units of affordable housing to a building that looks like a Target. This property was previously sitting vacant for a very long time- maybe decades? Perhaps most amazingly, just on the other side of Broad Street, the Divine Lorraine finally came back to life in 2017, after sitting blighted and empty for a very long time. Quite reasonably, back in 2011, we guessed that we’d see progress at 1406 Fairmount before seeing the renovation of the Divine Lorraine, and we can’t say that we’re embarrassed to have gotten that prediction so wrong. And frankly, if we had to choose seeing one project move forward before the other, we’d have gone with the way things played out anyway.