Lots of Construction on and Around Ludlow Street in West Philly

Over the past several years, numerous multi-unit projects have been built in and around University City. The reason behind this is a no-brainer- the proximity to multiple universities, the easy access to transit, and the developer-friendly zoning combine to make an ideal situation for builders who intend to target the multitudes of new residents that show up in this area every fall. This influx of development is also getting bolstered by the University City office market, which now boasts the highest office rents in the entire region.

Today though, we’ll just go through a few ongoing projects near 44th & Ludlow, located in a portion of the forgotten village of Roseville. In the 18th Century, the Rose Family acquired an staggeringly large parcel shaped like a lower-case letter “r” with its northeast corner at what is now the 4000 block of Ludlow Street, its northwest corner at what is now the 4700 block of Ludlow Street, and it’s southern tip at what is now Clark Park, just below Baltimore Avenue. Portions of this land were sold off over the years until the Rose property was isolated to the portions that ran along what is now Market, Chestnut, and Ludlow Streets, and when parts of this property started to get sold off to other landowners in the 1820s-1840s, the area started to become known as Roseville. 

Much has happened here in the last two hundred or so years, but changes seem to be accelerating of late. For example, on the 4400 Block of Ludlow Street, we see the construction site for a 5-story, 30-unit building being developed by Orens Brothers, whose offices are located in the building across the street. Pared down from a much larger version of the original plan, this one will also include commercial space in the form of a fresh food market, utilizing the zoning bonus that comes with it. And remember, a sister building is also planned across the street, which will extend from Ludlow to Chestnut Street and include another 40 apartments above a retail space.

Fresh food market coming soon

Crossing 44th Street, two other projects are at different stages around the corner. 19 S. 44th St. is a nearly complete 6-unit building which has the added benefit of making its tall neighbor at the corner seem like a more normal fit for the area. At 23-25 S. 44th St., two row houses are being combined and getting a one-story addition built on top to become a location for Morris Home, a residential drug and alcohol treatment program serving the transgender community.

Surprisingly big building at the corner, new stuff next door

Moving east to 43rd and Ludlow, construction continues on the 6-story, 18 unit apartment building at the northwest corner. Developed by Staten Island-based developer Simon Shkolyar, this building is a study on how to maximize the potential of a 43’ x 90’ lot with CMX-3 zoning. As we mentioned above, development has been spurred in this area, at least in part, by a friendly zoning map. This is why we’re seeing so much height and density on these little streets- because all of these projects are allowed by right.

NW corner of 43rd & Ludlow

Stay tuned in the next few days for some more updates on construction in this area, with some big projects yet to come.

–Dennis Carlise

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