Residential Project Coming to Vacant Lot Near Clark Park

Mr. Fox

The gateway to the Baltimore Avenue business corridor may soon be transformed. On March 12th, developers received a conditional use permit for the construction of a ninety-two unit apartment building at the southeast corner of 43rd and Baltimore across the street from Clark Park and the Green Line Café.

The vacant lot

Located at 4224-26 Baltimore Ave., the lot is zoned for residential multi-family and is intended to accommodate moderate- to high-density, multi-unit residential buildings. At present, the lot is vacant and overgrown, and was the subject of our musings last March. In 2008, Clarkmore LP, a part New York-based of Thylan Associates, purchased the property for $3.5M. In 2009, owners tore down a historic building located at the site that previously housed a school and women’s shelter. It's sat fenced off and dejected since.

Details on the project are somewhat sparse at this time, though folks on Philadelphia Speaks speculate that the project is being done by right, somewhat limiting possibilities for involvement from the Spruce Hill Community Association. On the other hand, the size of the project will invoke the Civic Design Review process, which will ostensibly provide the neighborhood with some input. For what it's worth, we're hoping for at least some commercial element to this project, though the permit doesn't indicate as such.

Overgrown in the summer

This marks the second recent proposal for a large multi-unit project along Baltimore Avenue. Apple Lofts, a proposal from last year, is located about ten blocks to the west, in a far less developed area. But the future of that project is in doubt, with the building now for sale. Perhaps, before projects like the Apple Lofts are realized, we'll have to wait and see about how the fate of the Croydon unfolds, and how quickly its units become occupied. And there’s the mixed-use proposal to transform the old West Philly High at 48th & Walnut into apartments and commercial space. Yes, it seems there's no shortage of interest in new residential development in this neighborhood. And there's more to come, check back next week!

--Lou Mancinelli