New Construction

And even more are coming

After nobody paid it much mind for many years, the 1300 block of Chadwick Street has gotten a ton of attention of late. The block had been dominated by a huge vacant lot on its eastern side for a long time, but a major residential development has shrunk the size of the lot, and soon it will disappear completely. At the beginning of this year, groundbreaking took place for a twelve-home project on the aforementioned lot. To date, eight of the twelve homes have been built and three are either sold or under agreement. The remaining homes are currently listed for $349K.

On the east side, eight new homes are up

Across the street, we spied another project that recently got underway. Remember, about a year ago, we told you of plans for three more homes on this block, at 1308-12 Chadwick St., on a much smaller vacant lot. Formwork is currently in the ground, and we'd wager that foundations will get poured later this week.

Wish more rehabs would do this

In Fishtown, we've seen all kind of development activity over the years. Vacant lots have sprouted new homes. Developers have demolished old homes or warehouses in favor of new construction. And there's no shortage of rehabs either. At 2204 E. York St., we have the combination of a rehab and new construction.

In the past
Recent shot

As you can see, the old building is gone and a new facade has been framed out. Interestingly, the developers are opting to preserve the existing cornice even though the rest of the old front is gone. We've actually seen this a couple of times before, notably on a Carpenter Street project in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood. Wouldn't it be nice if more developers did something like this?

We shall see

As has been the case on many blocks in Point Breeze of late, the 2000 block of Federal Street has seen considerable redevelopment. On the block's eastern end, OCF Coffee House opened a couple of years ago and Breezy's Cafe moved in a little more recently, adding to the commercial mix at the top of Point Breeze Avenue. On the south side of the block, two new construction projects and a rehab have progressed nicely since we first covered them back in July. And on the western end of the block, seven homes with parking in the rear are replacing a lot that's been vacant for quite some time. This is a change from what was originally presented as a plan for fifteen condo units.

Ten homes with brick wall views

In recent months, we've told you about a few Old City surface parking lots going the way of the dinosaurs, getting replaced with mansions. On Arch Street and Church Street, construction is well underway. On Race Street, another project should get moving pretty soon. Recently, a thread on Philadelphia Speaks alerted us to another surface parking lot in the neighborhood that's on the outs, this time at Front & Race.

Future development site

This site is tucked away, with the Fireman's Hall Museum to the west and I-95 immediately to the east. Fortunately, a big wall blocks out sound and views of the highway (until you get to the roof deck at least). To the south is a condo building that we've told you about before, built on a lot that previously looked pretty bad.

Exciting mixed-use project is planned

On Ridge Avenue, it's no secret that it's been a rough go for years between Broad Street and Girard Avenue when it comes to blight, vacancy, and old dilapidated buildings. But of late, there's been renewed optimism for Ridge thanks to projects large and small. At Broad Street, the mythic Divine Lorraine finally seems like it will spring back to life in the next couple of years with construction ongoing. Nearby, the JBJ Soul Homes were finished last year, filling a large lot that's been vacant for a long time. Smaller projects have dotted Ridge Avenue as you head toward Girard.

And more are planned, like the plans to construct a mixed-use three-story building on a currently vacant parcel at 1608-12 Ridge Ave., with 14-units above a ground-floor commercial space. Next door, an even bigger project is in the works.

Eight units replacing it

A reader recently tipped us off to the ongoing demolition at 245 S. 45th St. in Spruce Hill. Seeing the opportunity to snap some photos and enjoy a huge sandwich from Koch's as a bonus, we made our way over there and discovered an old home which was surely once very beautiful is indeed getting torn down. According to our tipster, the property was in deteriorating condition for years until it was finally sold to Glasburg Properties earlier this year for a wild sum of $275K.

Demolition ongoing

Why, you may ask, why would a developer lay out that kind of cash money for a West Philly property that needs to be torn down? The answer is quite simple. The home stood on a huge parcel that stretches back almost two hundred feet and allows for eight units by right in a new construction building. And in a neighborhood where college or graduate student housing is all the rage, the price tag, even with the demolition, doesn't seem quite so unreasonable. Especially when you consider the zoning challenges in this area.

But just two homes joining the party

20th Street between Titan and Wharton has seen some big changes in the last few years. At the corner of 20th & Titan, a single family home sprung from the ground on a lot that had previously been vacant for decades. This home has been joined by other new construction and rehabs on the 1900 and 2000 blocks of Titan Street. All the way at Wharton Street, two duplexes were built in the last twelve months which are occupied as rentals. These buildings also replaced vacant lots.

Looking south from Titan down to Wharton Street

As of a few days ago, this little stretch still had three vacant lots. But now that number has been slashed to one as construction is underway on two new homes at 1252-54 S. 20th St., immediately to the north of the new duplexes. When we passed by today, formwork was in place, suggesting foundations are on the come.

Formwork next to newer duplexes

Immediately to the north of the future homes is a two-story house that's in really bad shape. It's had several violations open since the end of last year, and we wouldn't be shocked to see it demolished by the City at some point. The lot next door to the home is owned by the City so it might be some time before it turns over.

Even more pizza choices in Fishtown

On York Street in Fishtown, a large new restaurant is slowly taking shape. Remember, we told you about this project at the intersection of Gaul & E York over a year ago, when the building looked like a red brick pile of garbage. Previously, this was a meatpacking warehouse but soon it will be packing in the crowds to enjoy pizza.

In the past

As we told you previously, the plan includes 140 seats and brick oven pizza. No need to doubt the pizza's chops, as one of the partners is the owner of Joe’s Pizza, an underrated Rittenhouse spot. We imagine that the pizza place will do solid business from the neighborhood but will also get a decent lunch crowd considering 2424 Studios is right across the street.

Several projects moving along

Front Street north of Fairmount in Northern Liberties is in the middle of a series of big changes. We took a walk in the area last week to check up on the changing face of Front Street here, from industrial to residential.

To start, right away at Front & Fairmount, construction is progressing on four homes designed by KJO Architecture. Back in May, the foundations were dug and the parcel fenced in. Now, the four homes are framed out, already lending a new perspective to the block. Next, at Front & Brown. there are the Penn Treaty Village Pennthouses. In early August we told you that the second phase of the project from Core Realty, run by Michael Samschick, was moving along nicely.  Samshick is also behind the ambitious conversion of several long vacant Richmond Street warehouses into an entertainment complex (there is lots of work going on over there in conjunction with this project). The first phase of the Penn Treaty Village Penthouses was rolled out in 2012.

Course changes for a building

In Francisville, Ridge Ave is slowly turning around. Let us say it again, that redevelopment along Ridge in Francisville is happening, consistently, it seems, but slowly. Near Broad Street, the JBJ Soul Homes development from Project H.O.M.E. represents the largest development on the corridor, but there are several smaller projects coming online deeper in the neighborhood. And more are on the way.

Perhaps now is the time for 1608 Ridge Ave. to transform from a vacant lot into a mixed-use building with commercial on the ground floor and 14 apartments above. We first told you about the plans, which included a community center on the ground floor, complete with a rendering from Harman Deutsch, about a year and half ago.

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