It was back in the winter of 2012 that we first brought the former Apple Storage building at 780 S. 52nd St. to your attention, as developers pursued a plan to convert the former industrial building into 112 apartments. The plan sparked controversy in this changing section of West Philadelphia, as several neighborhood groups came out in support but some residents pushed back due to concerns about density and gentrification. Ultimately though, the project fell through because 52nd Street was still a little too fringy in 2012 and the lending climate didn’t provide the developers with the terms they needed. Eventually, the property went on the market at a $2M asking price and Post Brothers bought it at the end of 2017.
When we last checked on the property at the beginning of last year, we learned that the developers had tweaked the plans, shrinking unit sizes and increasing the unit count from 112 to 153. They were also already at work on the building, blowing out new windows to accommodate all those apartments. Needless to say, they’ve made considerable progress in the last year and a half, and now the project looks to be complete, at least from the outside. They’re calling the property the “Irvine,” and have already started leasing apartments.
The exterior of the building looks really cool, as Post Brothers has done a really nice job blending old and new. Interior images from the property’s website also show an apartment building that’s far more stylish than most new construction buildings or rehabs these days, so that’ll be another perk for folks who move into the property. We have to think that the developers realized that they needed to make an attractive product to get tenants for this building. Development has certainly pushed farther west and south over the last half dozen years, but it’s still pretty far out there. And the adjacent railroad tracks don’t help matters either. Still, given the quality of the building and continued interest in rentals in this part of town, we have a sense that the units will rent and they’ll rent fairly quickly.