Near Temple University, two blocks of Master Street depict the place where blight meets redevelopment. The 1700 block is home to a huge tract of vacant land, several other one-off lots, and a few blighted buildings. Just a block farther west, the 1800 block has five duplexes under construction, a project we first told you about almost two years ago. These buildings are going up where a warehouse once stood, but the site has been an overgrown strip of land for several years.
Nearby, the area surrounding Temple has been on an unprecedented redevelopment tear over the past few years. Drive down Broad street and you’ll quickly espy Temple’s new $216M residential tower at Broad & Cecil B. Moore, or you can walk through campus and see some other new buildings. But that only scratches the surface of the new construction that’s taken place on the surrounding blocks.
Farther north, we’ve covered furious redevelopment along 18th Street over the past two years. Add to that projects nearby at 18th & Cecil B., plus five homes at 20th & Oxford, and more at 12th & Dauphin, and you almost cover the whole area of Temple’s local off-campus housing portfolio, which is expanding at all points in between.
That makes us wonder whether the beautiful old building draped with ivy on the northeast corner of 18th & Master will ever be repurposed. We’re not sure whether the structure is salvageable, but if it is it seems likely that the redevelopment bug will eventually bite here. Or else, it could regrettably be demolished and replaced with a new brick building with some stucco bays.
Sad but true. We’ve certainly seen it before.