New Construction

Replacing vacant lots

Just a block off of Lehigh Avenue, around the corner from where the Kensington Community Food Co-op will be opening sometime soon, we recently spotted two new construction houses at the intersection of E. Huntingdon & Coral. This parcel has been vacant for many years, but recently turned over for $75K. For a double-wide lot in this area, that ain't bad.

Two new homes

The homes are already listed for sale for $380K, which is pretty much what we'd expect to see in this neighborhood for a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2,500 sqft home. These homes will stand a few blocks away from and in direct contrast to the homes we profiled just yesterday. As opposed to the homes further down Coral Street, the Huntingdon Street homes are 16-feet wide, a much more standard dimension for Philly row homes. They also start at a much higher price point, which makes sense.

We don't believe it

In general, residential developers in Philadelphia prefer a lot that's at least sixteen feet wide. Fifteen-wide lots are considered acceptable, and fourteen-wide lots are usually as tight as you're gonna see. Last year, we came upon a troika of twelve-wide homes on Hagert Street from the Brickstone Group that sold relatively quickly, though at a discount of maybe thirty percent off the going rate for new construction in the neighborhood. Today, we look at some more skinny homes on the way on Coral Street in East Kensington.

One new skinny home and foundations for two more

As you can see, the slender 2231 Coral St. has already gone up. The arrangement of the windows on the facade doesn't help you forget that it ain't the widest house on the block. This home is the work of developer Luval Inc., which is currently pouring two foundations next door. Previously, a home stood where one of those foundations is going, but the developers opted to tear it down and build new rather than rehab. The homes are listed for sale, from right to left, for $310K, $310K, and $330K. If they can approach those prices, it would represent a dramatic increase over what the homes sold for on Hagert Street just last year.

Quadplex appears, and a home is coming next

This row of lots just south of 8th & McKean sat vacant for many years.

In the past

Last year though, developers stepped forward and built a quadplex that covered two of the lots. Sure, the new building at 2008-10 S. 8th St. won't win any architecture awards, but the fact that the building got built in the first place at this location is a bit of a triumph. If you read this blog with any regularity, you know we cover development all over greater Center City. And the fact is, there haven't been too many projects to speak of in this area, probably for decades.

Newish quadplex

Notice the pile of lumber next to the quadplex? Soon, a new construction single-family home will rise here.

New home coming

Though there's only a foundation so far, the home is already listed for sale for a (surprisingly high) price of $369,900. When it's done, the home will have over 2,000 sqft of living space, four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a roof deck, and so forth. If someone steps forward to buy the thing pre-construction, they'll be able to pick out fixtures and finishes. So if you want to own your Barbie dream house in South Philly, this could be your chance.

Replaces long shuttered bike shop

A new building, now under construction, will contribute to the slow revitalization we've been eyeing on the 800 block of North Broad Street. When we passed by recently, we saw the new building at 826 N. Broad St., just below Broad & Parrish.

Recent view

The four-story structure is being developed by Konkrete Investments (seriously, visit their website, it's amazing) and is designed by Harman Deutsch, according to online permits. There will be four apartments here, and maybe a retail space too, we can't quite tell. The building, now framed out and and with windows installed, replaces an old three story structure that most recently housed a bike shop. The store last operated back in 2007 from what we can gather. In the years since, the signage slowly degraded. Then the building was demolished earlier this year.

One underway and more coming

It seems like another vacant lot in Point Breeze will soon disappear. 1401-03 S. 20th St. has been empty for as long as we can remember, which admittedly isn't as long as many neighborhood residents, but still. A bench that's popular with riders of (really waiters for) the 17 bus sits in front of this lot, which means a bunch of people stare at it on a daily basis. Recently, a construction fence went up around it, signaling that construction could be imminent.

Two long vacant lots

Around the corner on the 1900 block of Reed Street, two homes are currently under construction and five more will soon follow. Remember, we told you about those projects just a couple weeks ago.

A couple of homes under construction nearby

For the southern lot, the developers, who have owned the properties since 2010, are planning a single family home. For the corner lot, permits indicate a first floor storefront with an apartment on the two upper floors. Forgive us for not being filled with confidence about the current viability of the corner commercial space. But we hope we're wrong.

Move in with Uncle Jesse

Heading home after getting whooped again in kickball, it somehow seemed appropriate that we found ourselves on Mercy Street, a tiny block just north of Snyder Avenue. Heading down the narrow street's 400 block, we were not at all expecting to find three homes that had clearly been built very recently.

400 block of Mercy Street
Three new homes

417-21 Mercy St. sit on what were previously vacant lots which were purchased by V2 Properties a little over a year ago. If the name of that developer sound a little familiar, it's because we've mentioned a few of their projects before. Remember, they have a big project in the pipeline on Front Street in Northern Liberties, with plans for twenty-three homes. And similar to their Mercy Street project, at least in terms of building on a narrow block that's just north of a major corridor, they built five homes on League Street in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood.

At least half of Montrose Court seems dead

At the end of 2011, the 2500 block of Montrose Street looked like it would soon experience a host of changes. Metro Impact had introduced a project called Montrose Court, which would have meant the construction of eight new homes on the north side of the block and three homes on its south side. Though some neighbors on Christian Street had problems with the height of the proposed homes due to concerns about shadows, we were pretty confident that the project would get built quickly.

Old renderings

Years went by, and the project wasn't happening, though the two-story homes that populated the north side of the block were eventually demolished. Earlier this year, a hole appeared on the south side of the block and we thought that the project was finally getting underway. Alas, the block still sits undeveloped and the Montrose Court lots are overgrown.

Looks to be something big

We couldn't tell you how long ago a one-story structure appeared at the corner of 34th & Hamilton, which until recently was home to a deli and a laundromat. We can tell you though, with great certainty, that said building is now a pile of rubble. And architecturally at least, nobody mourns for it.

In the past

This parcel actually stretches all the way to Spring Garden Street, and was entirely fenced-in when we passed by earlier this week. It was purchased earlier this year, apparently at Sheriff's Sale, for a rather large sum of $1.25M. While this may seem like a crazy purchase price, a lot size of nearly 10,000 sqft at this location is pretty valuable.

Seems pretty straightforward

A couple days ago, we told you about plans to demolish an out-of-place rancher on Gordon Street in Fishtown and replace it with eight new construction homes. This seemed like an intuitive project to us, as nobody would argue that the home that's there now represents the highest and best use of this large lot.

Recent shot

We told you that the majority of community members who attended a Fishtown Neighbors Association meeting this month supported the project, but several near neighbors opposed the project because of parking concerns. A representative from JKR Partners, the architects for the project, was kind enough to share renderings of what the developer wants to build.

Should be sweet when they're done

Shortly after New Years, we discovered work had begun on six new homes just off the corner of 2nd & Laurel in Northern Liberties. We first told you about this project in the fall of 2012, after the NLNA had given the project their support. Back then, a rough-looking cinderblock building stood on this site. Now, the ugly building is long gone, and six new homes are taking shape.

Framed on Laurel St.
Back homes have some windows

As we told you previously, the architects for this project are Atrium Design, the same team behind the mansions now rising on Church Street. Like those mansions, the new homes on Laurel Street will possess the typical high-end contemporary look we've seen in other Atrium projects.