While perusing the ZBA calendar for this week, we noticed hearings for 932 and 938 Edgley St., with plans calling for the construction of single family homes. The name of the street was familiar to us, though we couldn’t place the block on the map, offhand. At first, we believed Edgley Street to be located in Manayunk, but a Google Maps query reminded us that Edgley Street can be found in North Philly, running on and off between Diamond Street and Susquehanna Avenue. This block of Edgley runs for only half a block, between Delhi and 10th Streets, in a particularly run down section of the city.
At first glance, it felt little odd that a developer would be looking to build new homes on this block, but when we took a couple steps back to appreciate the big picture, things started to make a bit more sense. First, it’s worth noting that the developer behind this project is V2 Properties, a local developer that we’ve seen build homes all over town. The V2 approach typically entails buying a number of non-contiguous properties in an underserved section of the city and producing a market for new homes on those properties by creating a pocket of development. We’ve seen this approach in Whitman, Port Richmond, and deep in Point Breeze, and now it seems that V2 is expanding their offerings into North Philadelphia. As you might expect from this company’s history, they’re not just building two homes here- they’re working on almost a dozen.
The other factor to consider is that these properties are incredibly close to Temple’s campus. The elevated Septa line just a few steps away from Edgley Street acts as a natural barrier, and that’s probably a big part of the reason that these blocks have so deteriorated. Nevertheless, the Diamond Green Apartments building sits just past the tracks at 10th & Diamond, so a large number of students are already living about a block from here. Plus, that building has some retail amenities, so the eventual V2 residents won’t have to hoof it the four blocks to the campus food trucks if they’re looking for a bite to eat.
One thing we’re not sure about is whether these homes will be listed for sale or for rent. In our experience, V2 usually builds homes and sells them right away, but these homes would seem like strong rental candidates. Perhaps V2 will stick to their build and sell strategy, and simply sell the homes to investors looking for rental income. This seems more likely than selling the homes to owner occupants, but it seems a little premature to completely rule out that possibility.