We’ve seen numerous examples of Drexel student housing development over the last decade or so, rapidly changing many blocks north of the university. While many properties have turned over during this time, there are still several that are relatively unchanged and have maintained their historic use, for one reason or another. A fine example is the industrial building at 3205-15 Spring Garden St., which has been used for various industrial purposes over the years and has most recently been home to a Universal Bearing & Drive Solutions location. This business is now a fish out of water at this location, and certainly doesn’t represent the highest and best use for this property.
To put an incredibly fine point on this, let’s look at the building immediately next door. 3221 Spring Garden St. was a large vacant lot which was redeveloped into an apartment building back in 2014. Now known as the Residences at 3221, this 24-unit building includes a mix of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units which rental rates ranging from $1,450/mo to $2,325. We should mention that the building also includes like a dozen parking spots, accessed from the rear on Brandywine Street.
Just try to quiet your gasp as we share that 3205 Spring Garden St. will soon get redeveloped. Developers are buying this parcel and are pursuing a by-right plan to build a new multi-family building here with 48 units and no parking. Interestingly, the project next door received a variance, resulting in the five story building we see before us. The project at 3205 Spring Garden St. will rise only 4 stories and more to the point, it will only be 38′ tall, which means it’ll be dwarfed by the adjacent structure. We can certainly understand why the developers opted to go the by-right route- but we still wonder if they might regret not going for more height and density, even if it meant adding parking in the back like the neighboring building.
While we’re wondering about stuff, we’re also curious about the one-story building at the northwest corner of 32nd & Spring Garden. This property, which has been occupied by a pizza shop/market for many years, is double-wide and would seem like it could also benefit from some more height and some added density. The amazingly named owner of the property, Tofu Realty LLC, has not listed it for sale, but we have to think that developers have been circling as more and more projects proceed in the area. And surely, with the impending redevelopment of the property next door, those calls will only get more persistent.