Redevelopment Coming to 1400 block of Melon Street? Monday, April 14, 2014
While it's a bit of a slow train coming, redevelopment along North Broad Street, or at least plans for it, continue to surface. While it's still very early in the process, Loonstyn Properties, which has become a major developer in the area over the past few years, is currently under agreement to purchase three buildings near 15th & Melon, a block west of North Broad, just south of Fairmount Avenue.
Of the three buildings, two could become a mixed-use project with ground-floor commercial. Those two, 1427 and 1429-35 Melon St., are now a one- and two-story brick garage that absolutely scream reuse. The brick looks like it's in good condition, the brick arched door on the two-story building is charming, a type less seen. The third building, 675 N. 15th St., will remain in its current state as a four-unit residential building, though minor renovations will be made as needed. According to Bill Loonstyn Jr., it's still too early to decide whether the buildings will be converted or not. The company is still looking for an architect, and plans are preliminary.
You may recall, Loonstyn Properties did the mixed-use Uber & Fairmount project a few years ago. And they've continued to develop closer and closer to North Broad Street. Loonstyn pointed to recent interest along North Broad as another reason these properties interested the developer. “North Broad is getting developed and that's even better for the neighborhood,” said Loonstyn. “Any opportunity we get to find a location anywhere in the Spring Garden part of town, we like that,” he said.
Just around the corner, work is finished at the Project H.O.M.E. development of a former large triangular vacant parcel that formerly housed farmer's markets and other community events. And Bart Blatstein's Tower Place and Broad & Spring Garden is a recent residential adaptive reuse on North Broad Street. So, it will be interesting to see what Loonstyn Properties does here. And of course, like the old hotel itself, the question still looms, what about the Divine Lorraine?