New Construction

And it's all good stuff

It's only been a few months since we last shared news about Fairmount Avenue between 17th & 18th Streets, but a sometimes few months can be like an eternity in the development world. The last time we were here, old windows and plywood had been pulled out of the old Mortgage Security Building at 18th & Fairmount. For the most part, a host of new windows have now been installed and the building looks fantastic. We still don't know what will be happening inside, but considering the improved appearance of the building, we hardly care.

And they're half sold, too

Trenton Avenue has six new homes on the way. The intersection of Blair Street with Trenton Avenue creates a "flatiron-shaped" parcel, and that's where AGA Developers are currently building a project called Trenton Stables. You may recall, these are the same developers that have been building the Frankford Square project over the last couple of years. As for Trenton Stables, the homes are replacing a one-story building that was at one time, appropriately, a stable. The improvement is significant.

In the past
Recent shot

You can see, four homes are now framed out and according the project website they'll be finished by June. We'd be more inclined to guess August, but a couple of months are but a blink of an eye for the development gods. These four homes will have a fairly standard layout, with rear-access parking from Blair Street. The remaining homes, which have yet to be framed, will be much more unusual, as the lot narrows to a point. Below, you can find elevations drawings for the entire project and a floor plan for the final two homes which illustrates what we just described.

New getting built, industrial conversion on the way

Over the years, we've visited the 400 block of Fairmount a few times, and we've already seen some changes take place. Notably, Callahan Ward built three homes with parking on a deep lot at 444-48 Fairmount Ave., getting an extra home in the project by orienting the homes toward a drive-aisle instead of the street. We walked through one of them right after construction wrapped up, and we can tell you first hand they're pretty sweet. Along those lines, another three homes are now under construction at 414 Fairmount Ave., a project we first told you about in the end of 2013. Back then, plans called for four triplexes. The neighborhood zoning process led us to three homes on Fairmount, two triplexes on Wallace Street, and what looks like eight parking spots.

A shame that the people who eventually live there won't get to enjoy springtime in the park

Konrad Square Park is a lovely patch of green space in Fishtown, just a couple of blocks from the bustling Frankford Avenue, but a fair distance from Girard Avenue. While it's always a pleasure to walk through this park, it's a special treat this time of year, with temperatures rising and everything in bloom. Even a little construction didn't diminish our experience earlier today.

Konrad Square Park

Near the corner pictured above, we noticed two different infill projects. Once they're finished, the new occupants will have this view just steps from their front door. Color us jealous.

Six new triplexes fill in a long-vacant lot

In West Philly, change has finally occurred on the southwest corner of 46th & Sansom, a parcel that has been vacant for many years. A little over a year ago, we noticed the beginnings of construction activity at this site, and mentioned plans for six quadplexes. Last winter, it looked like the project was stalled, though we were pleased to see some blighted buildings getting torn down across the street.

Now a vacant lot on the southeast corner

Last month, West Philly Local reported that building was happening on the southwest corner, with a flatbed dropping off modular sections of new buildings. The project is called Sansom Street Flats, and has changed somewhat since our original report. Instead of quadplexes, it's triplexes. Like much of the construction in West Philadelphia in recent years, the architecture won't really do justice to the existing buildings in the neighborhood. We wish the developers would have opted for something that looked like the buildings that once stood here but that was probably a pipe dream.

Reuse still woulda been nice

We first brought a blighted building at 1221 S. Broad St., a former armory, to your attention back in the summer of 2011, when plans to build a four-story mixed-use building threatened to cover a mural of what looked like a zombified Frank Sinatra. The old armory was constructed in the 1880s, and sat mostly vacant in recent years, slowly deteriorating inside.

Would replace a bunch of existing buildings

Still in its early stages, an Orens Brothers proposal for a five-story 150-unit building along the north the side of the 4400 block of Chestnut would require collaboration between numerous parties. The developers are presenting plans for this project at tonight's Spruce Hill Community Association meeting.

Last month, Orens Brothers appeared at the tail end of a community zoning meeting to informally present the plans, and to gauge reactions from neighbors, according to SHCA zoning chair Barry Grossbach. For it to happen, the project would demolish vacant and occupied homes and a building that stretches from Chestnut to Ludlow Street. It would include some PRA-owned properties, according to Grossbach. It's still to be determined how the ownership agreements will work out.

An addition, plus a new building

Last fall, we told you about big plans for 412 S. 13th St., known more colloquially as Waverly Court. The building looks like it has some kind of industrial past, though we could not tell you its original purpose. Most recently, it has been home to rental apartments and the (rather excellent) restaurant Amis. Previously, a surface parking lot sat next door but now that parking lot is gone, with a building coming in its place.

Older but relevant photo of the building
Construction is moving forward

When we originally told you about the project, it looked like it would entail 37 apartment units total. Now we understand that there will be a total of 60 apartments, 11 parking spots for cars, and 13 parking spots for bikes. Not only will a six story building rise next to the existing structure, but the Waverly Court building will also get a two-story addition. We were able to snag a rendering of the project from the good people at JKR Partners.

Vacant building seeing new attention

We've covered many changes at the intersection of 19th & Catharine over the years, as we've watched two churches get torn down, with homes rising in their place. Our most recent visit to this corner was over a year ago when new owners took over a long vacant building on the northwest corner. This property has been vacant for many years, but got a new facade a couple of years ago. Also, in the back of the property, we seem to recall an ice cream shop once upon a time, but there's been no business operating there for some time.

Apartments coming in its place

The other day, a reader gave us the heads up about demolition at 1014 E. Moyamensing Ave., a former nursery on a block that's entirely residential aside from a pet store/record store a bit to the north. The building that disappeared served as a nursery/day care for twenty-five years, and before that it was a storage garage. The building was nothing special, in our opinion.

In the past
No more building

According to permits on the property, a four-story, five-unit apartment building will soon get built here. No word on whether they'll be rentals or condos, though we'd bet on rentals. The reader who told us about this situation expressed some surprise that this project was taking place on a block that's full of single-family homes and that the developers didn't have to appear before QVNA to get community approval.