In October, we told you that groundbreaking for Renewbold would finally be taking place at 16th & Moore. For decades, this was the site of the Drexel School. After the school was demolished, the parcel sat vacant for several years, as planning for Renewbold progressed. Now, nine new homes have sprung from the ground.
We've continued to write about different retail that’s filled up vacant spots along the already well-developed North 2nd Street commercial corridor in Northern Liberties, and now a frozen yogurt shop is the latest proposal to reach the area.
Now it's a new mixed-use development with residential units above. It's the sort of development the NLNA is looking for. It keeps eyes on the street and encourages pedestrian traffic. It also ties into the new age designs and architecture that have veered away from traditional brick row home exteriors that has accompanied the wave of redevelopment in Northern Liberties.
A couple of years ago, the NLNA approved plans for seventeen new homes at 814-32 N. Lawrence St., which was previously home to the Marcis Wire Works. A large red warehouse has been located on this corner for generations, but it was demolished at some point in the last couple of months.
In the past
Looking at the minutes from an NLNA meeting in the summer of 2012, some of the homes will be fronting Lawrence Street, across the way from the first Duck Flats phase, and some of the homes will front Orkney Street. Each of the homes will have two-car parking, which seems to be a big selling point for both the neighborhood group and buyers in the area. FUSA Designs has done the architecture for the project, and a rep tells us that the water department has finally signed off on the project, opening the door for things to start moving forward.
When we checked in on 3221 Spring Garden St. last summer, the 24-unit building with 13 parking spots was just starting to get framed out. Passing by last week, plenty of progress is apparent. We're quite confident that the building will be ready to accommodate the wave of new students seeking shelter for the fall of 2014. From the looks of it, even kids looking to make the move over the summer could be in luck.
This is progressing
As we drank in the progress on the north side of the street, a large new building on the southern side of the block caught our eye. For years, 3222 Spring Garden St. contained vacant land and a one-story garage. Now, it's looking rather different thanks to the efforts of the same developers building a triplex at 42nd & Chestnut.
The developers working on this project also own another lot on this block which we expected would be under construction by now. It isn't, nor are the collection of vacant homes on the eastern side of the block.
Further down the block
Hopefully, the next time we visit the area, the new homes will be finished and the blighted homes will be under construction. We shall see.
After grabbing a delicious sandwich at Breezy's Cafe yesterday, we were heading back into town when we noticed a new and growing hole in the ground at the northeast corner of 20th & Ellsworth. The combination of three vacant lots has held back this corner for quite some time, and the vacant looking building next to the lots ain't helping either.
The two southern lots were purchased about a year and a half ago by Michael Mosheyev, a developer who recently built three homes nearby on the 2000 block of Annin Street. For the corner lot, permits indicate that he's building a triplex. Whether he's planning to rent them out or make them into condos is anybody's guess. The lot next door is more than three feet narrower and will only accomodate a single family home. It's kind of a shame that he wasn't able to change the lot lines without going to zoning, as this will result in a somewhat inferior interior home. Still, we are confident it will sell quickly in this market. And considering the location is close to several other residential developments and the slowly-starting-to-turn-around Point Breeze Avenue, it's one of the more desirable spots to live in the neighborhood.
The property, which sold for $300K last month, offers a unique development opportunity. It's a little over 32' wide, and it's a little over 90' deep. Intuitively, you might expect four new single-family homes here. But the developers are thinking bigger. Initially, they proposed a ten-unit building with four parking spaces on the first floor, but the project was eventually scaled down to eight apartment units with four parking spots. Two of the spaces will be accessed from a garage on Buttonwood, and the other two spots will be accessed through a garage on Nectarine Street.
The project went through several iterations before it was finally approved by the ZBA in May of 2012. Unfortunately, after it was approved, near neighbors on Rodman Street appealed the decision to the Court of Common Pleas. The appeal was struck down about a year ago, but we believe that some legal cloud still hangs over the project. Despite this, construction is taking place. When it's finished, the four-story building will have nine residential units and a large commercial space on the first floor. 7-11 has a lease on the space, which is slated to be completed over the summer. If you're interested in being the franchisee, you can click here to learn more.