New Construction

Homes will look pretty sweet

Remember last week, when we told you about a project coming soon to the 3300 block of Tulip Street and we were pretty much flabbergasted that multiple developers are building in this neck of the woods? In case you missed it, developers presented a plan to the ZBA earlier this month and got approval for seven triplexes and eleven new homes on this block, which sits around the corner from the Temple Northeastern Ambulatory Care Center and steps away from Aramingo Avenue.

Current view

In response to our story, the good folks at KJO Architecture reached out to provide us with some images that give an idea of what we can expect here in the near future. The units will have a very contemporary look to them, with casement windows and metal facades. We'd have perhaps expected a more industrial look, which would relate to many of the warehouses in the area. Then again, that's not something we've generally seen in former industrial neighborhoods with tons of new construction, so it doesn't necessarily follow that we'd see it in a neighborhood that's still largely industrial and commercial.

Developer was kind enough to direct us to their website

A little over a week ago, we shared news about two large projects on the horizon for the east side of the 1200 block of N. 27th St., just around the corner from the improving Girard Avenue commercial corridor and across the street from the church-turned apartments North Abbey project. Soon after, we heard from Argo Property Group, the developers working on the smaller (but still significant) project on the block. Since reading permits issued by the City is an inexact science, we were grateful to get some clarity on the details of the project and because we love looking at pretty pictures we were glad they could direct us to some renderings.

View from about a week ago

Though an empty home at 1221 N. 27th St. was demoed this year, the rest of the east side of the block has been sitting vacant for many years. The folks at Argo have patiently bought up all the parcels they could get their mitts on over the last year, and they're now planning to build a duplex, a triplex, and a pair of six-unit buildings. Per their website, the units in the duplex at 1211 N. 27th St. will be listed for sale as condos and each unit will have 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and about 1,500 sqft of living space. The triplex and the apartment buildings will contain 2 bedroom rental units. We mistakenly predicted a total of 18 units here, but the project will actually entail 17 units. Our bad.

Property has been on the market for years

Given the proximity to both Broad Street and Washington Avenue, you'd think that 15th & Federal would be one of the best corners in Point Breeze. Even though we've seen a bit of construction on the 1100 block of S. 15th St., this intersection remains several steps behind the other thriving parts of the neighborhood. A large part of this lag is probably related to 1433 Federal St., a property that wraps around the northeast corner and has been used as an auto garage for many years.

In the past on Federal Street

Former view on 15th Street

Yeah, that's a huge cinderblock wall.

The 15K sqft property went on the market two summers back at a list price of $2.6M, and a developer came forward to buy it for $2M a few months ago. In recent weeks, crews have been onsite, tearing down the building. Now seems like a good time to mention that the property that's right on the corner is owned by a different party and isn't part of this project. And that's why it's still there.

Previous plan called for three homes

We were pretty sure that 1244 E Colona St. had already been redeveloped, and were therefore quite surprised to see it listed on a Fishtown Neighbors Association Zoning Committee agenda earlier this month. We first brought this property to your attention over three years ago, when the oddly shaped parcel included a flowery fence, a vacant home covered in ivy, and a bunch of empty space. By the summer of 2014, developers had purchased the parcel and had neighborhood support for three homes, with two fronting Colona Street and one fronting Susquehanna. We hadn't been back here since, and had simply assumed that the project happened. That wasn't the case, as the project got denied at the ZBA for some reason.

Shape of the property

In the past

If you pass by this location today, you'll see that indeed no homes have been built and the property is now a vacant lot. According to a thread, the demolition took place in the last month or so.

Point Breeze continues to hum

We promise, we'll eventually stop being surprised about the continual southern shifting of the development border in Point Breeze. But that day is not today, folks. Last spring, we visited the 1900 block of Fernon Street and noted that this street, formerly overrun by vacancy, had six homes under construction. Over the summer, we visited the 2000 block of Fernon, and discussed a batch of new homes under construction and a few rehabs to boot. We should not be shocked that similar things are happening on the 1800 block, and yet...

Buildings have been vacant for a long time

A little less than a month ago, we told you that the vacant former church at 1734 Ridge Ave. would soon be demolished, but we didn't know for sure what would rise in its place. A reader tipped us off, having attended a community meeting last week where Loonstyn Properties presented a plan for a 30 unit building, which got support from the neighbors in Francisville. Even though they didn't mention it, we have to imagine the project will also include some commercial component on the first floor.

According to the reader, CANNO Design did a really nice job on the architecture for the project, but we're sorry to say we weren't able to get our mitts on a rendering. In the meantime though, check out these photos of some ongoing demolition. It's a bit of a business in the front/party in the back situation right now, but it won't be long before the entire building is gone.

Dare we dream that a Washington Ave. project will move forward?

We keep waiting for the first domino to fall on the western side of Washington Avenue, and it now seems possible that 2501 Washington Ave. could be the first. The property is vacant today, but big things are coming. Probably.

Current view

We've covered this property a few times previously, first back in February after a preliminary community presentation. That plan included a six-story building at the corner with 79 apartments and 10K sqft of commercial space, along with a five-story 17-unit building on Grays Ferry Avenue and 17 townhomes in between. A month later, the plans had evolved after some conversations with SOSNA and near neighbors to a 60-unit building at the corner, four triplexes on Grays Ferry Avenue, and 11 homes and 4 duplexes in the middle. Since we attended the neighborhood meeting, we got a photo of the project rendering at the time, with credit to PZS Architects

Student housing? Condos? We dunno.

A reader tipped us off about three buildings currently under construction at 2337-41 W. Thompson St. on the Brewerytown/Sharswood border, and we had a funny feeling we'd been to this block once before. And it just so happens that we have been here! A couple years back, we covered some demolition at 2400 W. Thompson St., and since then a new quadplex has risen in the place of a long blighted building. A similar story is now playing out with those three properties on the 2300 block.

In the past

Looking at the Google Street View from a couple years ago, it appears that all three of these properties were vacant and blighted. Developers from FJM Investment Group have purchased the properties over the last couple years, and this year they tore down the old buildings even though two of them had some pretty lovely bones. Now they're in the process of constructing three triplexes.

Alterra stepping in with a 20 story tower

Almost three years ago, we told you that the Philadelphia Housing Authority was looking for a partner to develop their former headquarters on Chestnut Street. PHA moved out of the building at 2012 Chestnut St. a little less than a decade ago and it has been sitting empty ever since, an increasingly inconsistent vacancy as significant projects have flourished nearby. But that inconsistency should soon resolve, as reported today that PHA has selected Alterra Property Group as a development partner for this address.

A bunch of new homes and more on the way

We did not see this one coming. We were perusing the ZBA calendar the other day and noticed 3315 Tulip St. among the properties on the list. Upon further examination, we discovered that a developer had purchased this 15K sqft parcel about a year ago for just under $300K and was planning seven new triplexes and eleven new single family homes. This project is rather unexpected because of its location. We've seen some rumblings of new construction in Port Richmond just past Lehigh Avenue and farther into the neighborhood closer to I-95. But this project will sit just a block off of Aramingo Avenue and is surrounded by industrial buildings, very close to the Harrowgate border. All that being said, the project went to the ZBA last week and got approved, so it certainly seems like it's happening. 

Huge lot on the 3300 block of Tulip Street

We went to check out this property, to see with our own eyes and to try to understand why this developer is opting to build such a significant project at this seemingly remote location around the corner from the Temple Northeastern Ambulatory Care Center. When we made the hike to visit the property, it occurred to us that this developer might just be onto something. It turns out they're not the first ones to look at this block, and not by a longshot.