Last week, we told you about Teaful Bliss relocating from 11th & Spring Garden to the corner of 28th & Cambridge, in Brewerytown. When we were up there snapping photos and grabbing a tasty cup of tea, we noticed a touch of new construction just down the block. If you visited the 2700 block of Cambridge Street a couple of years ago, you would have probably been struck by the number of vacant homes on the block. While several remain, at least one has disappeared in recent months.
In the past
LJR Investments Inc. bought both of these properties last year. As you can see, the vacant home has been demoed and the previously vacant lot is now gone. Both lots have seen new single-family homes framed out, which should be finished in the coming months. LJR also owns another lot on the block, closer to 27th Street, which looks like it could become a construction site pretty soon.
A couple of months ago, we checked in on three of these homes of the 2800 block of Cambridge, which by then had been demolished, with reconstruction underway. We stopped by this block again earlier this week, and noted considerable progress. As you can see in the photos below, the homes are built, exterior work is progressing, with interior work surely taking place as well. The signs on the site would seem to indicate that the builders are Doozer Construction, a Center City based construction company.
Just last week, we told you about Cambridge Row, a partnership between Fairmount CDC and local developer MM Partners to purchase a number of PHA properties, rehab them, and sell them on the open market. This project will be taking place on the 2700-3000 blocks of Cambridge Street, and will involve the revival of ten properties that have been sources of blight for years. And it seems that the spirit of rehabbing properties on Cambridge Street is contagious.
2800 Cambridge St.
2800 Cambridge St. is an imposing corner property, dwarfing the two story homes next door due to its height and the fact that the other homes on the south side of the block are set back from the front of their property line. The building was purchased by Cambridge Partners LLC back in September for $135K, and these developers seem serious about redeveloping this shell.
According to the zoning application, the builders want to create three apartments here, when there were two apartments once upon a time. Part of the renovation will be the a one-story addition on the two-story section of the building, and another addition on the one-story section.
Last year, the Philadelphia Housing Authoritysold off hundreds of homes in a successful though flawed auction process, relieving itself of a fraction of its inventory of vacant and blighted homes. Despite this effort, PHA still owns over a thousand vacant properties that it clearly doesn't have the capacity to repair to make fit for residents, and which will therefore will sit vacant and blighted for who knows how many more years.
Some PHA blight
Enter a partnership between Brewerytown developers MMPartners and Fairmount CDC. According to a press release, the two have come together to purchase ten properties from PHA on the 2700-3000 blocks of Cambridge Street. The intention is to renovate and sell these ten homes, with nine to be sold at market-rate prices, and one to be sold at an "affordable price," to individuals earning 80% AMI.