We were dodging the raindrops in South Kensington today and happened upon a building under construction on the southeast corner of Hancock & Thompson. This property had been sitting vacant for a number of years, surrounded by a fence overgrown with ivy. Developers bought the parcel about a year and quickly set about building an eight-unit residential building, a project which happened to be by-right. They've made some nice progress thus far.
In the past
Harman Deutsch did the design work for this project, and thanks to the listings for the condo units in the building, we can show you an elevations drawing which will give you a sense of what the building will look like when it's finished. We're into the look, and especially appreciate the double hung multi-pane windows. Though it'll be new construction, it will probably look like a warehouse conversion, and that fits in well for this neighborhood.
We remembered none of this when we happened upon the sign, and were excited about the prospect of walking through a gigantic double-wide home. It turns out the 'Open House' sign was fake news anyway, so we're a little less disappointed now that we realize it's just a couple of standard renovated homes. Perhaps thanks to a prior open house, the developers have gotten one of the homes under agreement at a list price of $600K.
Third floor additions
Across the street, different developers are working on a new construction single family home. A row home was standing at 1115 Federal St. until a few years ago, but got demolished somewhere along the line. And then the property sat vacant for a little while. We'd think that the new home will sell for a higher price than the rehab across the street, though it hasn't been listed for sale as of yet.
A little over a year ago, we told you that Goldstein's Men's and Boy's Apparel was moving from their longtime home at 807 S. 6th St., and developers were planning three new homes on this oddly angled property. We expected that this would entail the demolition of the existing building, though, not the renovation we see in the images above. Whoops. According to the listing,floorplans are fluid and can accommodate between 4 bedrooms and 6 bedrooms (for those of you with extra large families). Three bathrooms and about 3,000 sqft of living space are a little more set in stone. All this can be yours for a mere $870K! The facades will be a contemporary transformation of the building, which we believe dates back to the 1970s.
Oof, nobody? Okay, we'll tell you again, but this is the last time.
There's Erdman Street
Erdman Street is a tiny alleyway in Francisville that's only accessible from Perkiomen Street. When we last visited this block, it looked like garbage, strewn with trash and overgrown with all kinds of weeds.
A couple years ago
We brought the block to your attention back then because we had learned that a developer had purchased some land on the block. The developer, David Champagne, had built other homes in the neighborhood and was planning to move lot lines around to build a quartet of homes. It turns out, Champagne simply took the properties through permitting and then sold them to a different developer about a year ago. The listing for the lots included an elevations drawing from Plumbob which showed some nice looking contemporary homes.
Elevations drawing from when the lots were sold
Checking in on the block today, we can see that things are much improved. Also, the four new homes are progressing well.
Roughly two months ago, we shared the news that a demolition notice had appeared on the large warehouse on the northwest corner of 13th & Reed. This building has had several uses over the years, including auto repair and mummer equipment storage, but it's most prominently known as the home of theater company Theatre Exile. We were concerned about the future of the theater company with the approaching demolition of the building, and were cheered to learn that Theatre Exile was planning to move to a new and undetermined location after this season.
View from a few months back
We knew that the building would be demolished, but didn't know exactly what would be rising in its place. The developers pulled a permit for the new project that was short on some details, only indicating that the new owners were planning a by-right project. Sometime in the last couple months though, those plans changed, as the developers are now seeking to build a project that will require a variance. The project came before the community this week, and a meeting attendee was kind enough to share some details and a few photos of what we can expect. Check 'em out:
We don't find ourselves reporting on too many projects in Fairmount, mostly because there aren't all that many projects to cover. A mature neighborhood, Fairmount has its share of rehabs and the occasional one-off project, but there haven't been many projects sizable enough for us to cover over the years. In fact, this is our first Fairmount post of 2017 and we're more than a third of the way through the year. So let's get on with it, shall we?
North 2nd Street in Northern Liberties has experienced numerous changes over the years, as it has slowly evolved from vacancy and industrial use to vibrancy and mixed-use. Perhaps the best example of this transition is the Piazza, which stands on the site of defunct Schmidt's Brewery, hence the name Piazza at Schmidt's. A latter day example of this phenomenon exists right across the street from the Piazza, at the corner of 2nd & Wildey. For many years, a fire extinguisher company made its home here, but we showed you about a year ago that their building had been demolished in favor of a planned mixed-use building. As you might imagine, the passing months has made quite the difference at this corner.
Just yesterday, we shared the wonderful news that the long vacant W.G Schweiker building on the 2600 block of Jefferson Street has a new owner and that renovation could be on the horizon for this fantastic building. When we snapped our photos of the building, we noticed some ongoing construction activity on the block, but figured we'd come back to it after the fact, to not take focus away from the main thrust of our story. Today is a new day, so here we go:
Looking east on the 2600 block of Jefferson
From right to left, 2635 Jefferson St. is vacant and not under construction. Since it's owned by PHA, it's hard to say when or if something will happen with this property. 2637 Jefferson St. is also sitting vacant, and has a bunch of violations on the property. It's been owned by the same person since 1927, but we'd think it will change hands soon via the Sheriff, as the liens catch up with it. 2639 Jefferson St. is owned by a developer who tore down the vacant home that had been here. The property is zoned multi-family, so a duplex seems like a reasonable thing to expect in the future.
Toward the end of last year, we visited the 2400 block of W. Thompson St. to tell you about a property on the block that was listed for sale. We believed that 2414 W. Thompson St. was a little overpriced at $125K but suggested that the block had potential and a buyer could find value as the area appreciates. Perhaps inspired by our story, a buyer came forward for the property and purchased it last month for $100K. We don't see any permits yet, but we assume a rehab will be forthcoming.
Looking toward the recently purchased 2414 W. Thompson Street
Not only were we correct that someone would buy the property at a slightly lower price, we were also on point about the potential for the block. If you visit, you'll notice some zoning notices posted to the fence in front of 2428 and 2430 W. Thompson St., both of which are sitting vacant. We should note that 2426 W. Thompson St. is also vacant but isn't included in this project.
Last week, we told you about plans for five new homes on the north side of Cecil B. Moore Avenue, on a parcel that runs from Howard to Hope Street. Unfortunately, it wasn't until a few days later that a reader notified us about a few zoning notices just steps away from this property, on the 1600 block of Hope Street. So we had to go back to the neighborhood, camera in hand, to snap some more photos. Currently, there's a two-story home at 1612 Hope St., with a pair of vacant lots next door. If developers have their way, the home will be demolished and three new single family homes will rise here, at the corner of Hope & Guest. And now you know there's such a thing as Guest Street in Philadelphia.
Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut.
Uh, we mean...
The lots are zoned for industrial use and are each about 14'x44', hence the need for zoning variances. Given all the development that's happened in the immediate area though, we would think this project will get approved.