We were perusing the ZBA calendar the other day and discovered that 4108 Haverford Ave. is tabbed for redevelopment. This property looks like it was originally built for industrial purposes and probably got some use as a warehouse at some point early in its life. Most recently though, the building has been used as a religious space, as home to the Mount Zion United Holy Church. This building might not hold a candle to numerous historic churches around Philadelphia, but it still provides a window into the history of the block, and has some nice bones to boot.
Looking at the zoning application, it appears the plan will call for a partial demolition in the rear of the building and the construction of three duplexes with frontage on Brandywine Street. As a next step, we expect the owners of the property will either tear down the building on Haverford or repurpose it, likely for residential use. We’re more inclined to expect reuse, as it would seem like a weird two-step process to go through zoning to build duplexes in the back and then go through a whole different permitting process to demolish the rest of the building and construct something new.
Clearly, the duplexes on Brandywine will be a big upgrade from the current rear of the property. Also, new buildings will fit in nicely with the rest of the block.
As for the Haverford Avenue side, we kinda felt like this project was a little too far west at first blush. But when we noticed that there’s a quadplex literally next door to the church and a pair of eight-unit buildings just a few doors down to the west, additional residential on the 4100 block of Haverford began to make all kinds of sense. Of course, we have to assume that these units are all targeting students, like just about every other project nearby. As students keep pushing farther north and farther west, we have to wonder when the pushing will taper off. Thus far, all signs so far are pointing to not quite yet.