Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen an explosion of development in West Powelton, with the intersection of 40th & Baring serving as an epicenter of sorts. Projects in this area generally target the student population and have ranged from single family homes to duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, to buildings with dozens of units. Many of these projects have sprouted on previously vacant lots, but we’ve also seen a number that have entailed the demolition of existing buildings and the construction of something new. As vacant land becomes increasingly scarce around here, figure we’ll see more of the latter than the former as we move forward.
Today, we’re looking at some upcoming and ongoing projects on the border between West Powelton and Powelton Village, on either side on Lancaster Avenue. First, allow us to direct your attention to 3825 and 3829 Lancaster Ave., a vacant lot and a shell, respectively. Until a few years ago, there was a building at 3825 that looked much like the building at 3829, but that was torn down and the lot has been vacant since that time. Coming soon though, it appears that developers will be building a new quadplex at 3825, filling in the lot that’s been empty for the last few years. 3829, in a refreshing change of pace, won’t get torn down, but will be renovated and will remain in use as a triplex, as has been the case since at least the 1950s.
Across the street, it’s a bit less clear what’s going on. We know that a developer bought the unfortunate garage at 3820 Baring St. for $1.1M back in 2017. We know that the building was torn down the next year, ostensibly with an eye toward building a mixed-use building on this nearly 8,000 sqft lot. But at this point, nothing has happened and we don’t see any permits. Figure something should move forward here at some point- we don’t imagine the developer plunked down that kind of cash to sit on a vacant lot in a desirable location.
If we look west on Baring Street, we see one building that’s under construction and another that was recently completed, both seemingly designed by the same architect and ostensibly developed by the same party (under different LLCs, ‘natch). We have to say, these projects are a little frustrating to us and you can probably figure out the reason pretty quickly.
The developers have constructed / are still constructing quadplexes at 3828 and 3834 Baring St., and have demoed a pair of triplexes in service of these projects. Frankly, it bums us out that these buildings were part of a row of seven architecturally compatible homes that were all clearly built at the same time (late 1800s?) and designed by the same architect. We’ve said on many occasions that we’re not necessarily believers that architectural repetition is a desirable end unto itself, but in this case we would argue that the row of older buildings provided real value as a collective, much more than the buildings do on an individual basis. That rhythm is now wiped out, unfortunately, and we imagine we’ll see more of these buildings demoed and replaced in the coming years.