There's a section of the 4600 block of Sansom Street between 46th Street and Farragut Street that's been rather bleak for at least the last decade, probably going back many more years. A single building on the south side of the block has survived the passage of time, with two huge vacant lots on either side. On the north side of the block, another vacant lot overlooks a gas station.
But things have changed dramatically as the student housing boom in West Philly has made its way here, and with considerable force.
A couple of years ago, we told you of plans for a row of quadplexes on the southwest corner of 46th & Sansom, and then last year we told you that the plans had changed and that instead it was triplexes under construction. And you may recall, these buildings were built modular by Vaughan Buckley Construction, arriving on the site having been mostly built someplace else. Those units are clearly finished and it appears as though they were occupied for at least part of this school year. At the corner, another triplex is forthcoming with a foundation already in place.
Looking to the west, we see more changes on the block.
Back in February, we noticed foundations getting poured at 4612-20 Sansom St., where developers were turning five lots into six for the construction of additional triplexes. Like the buildings around the corner, these will also surely target students. There's been considerable progress in a short period of time, perhaps due to the fact that this project is also modular. If you've never seen modules delivered to a construction site, we highly recommend it- it's a pretty amazing thing to watch.
Once this phase wraps up, the same developer will look to the north side of the street and build six more triplexes. Look in the background of the photo above, and you can see that gas station we mentioned earlier.
Doing some quick math, we count 57 new units near this corner in a very short time period. Assuming each unit has two bedrooms, that'll be over a hundred new students hanging out at this corner in the very near future. A decade ago, even half a decade ago, this would have seemed totally ludicrous. Today, it's just par for the course in the neighborhoods near Penn, Drexel, and Temple.