New Construction

Across from future apartments

As Fishtown has continued to redevelop, we've seen a good mix of larger projects and one-off projects, sometimes even on the same block. On the 2100 block of Norris Street alone, we've seen the ten-home Norris Point project and an additional six homes get started a little closer to Frankford Avenue. On the other side of Frankford but technically on the same block, we recently came upon a one-off mixed-use building under construction at 2186 E. Norris St., replacing a vacant lot.

In the past
Framing underway

According to the permits, this property will have commercial on the first floor and residential above. It's encouraging that the developers would opt for a commercial use at this location. With Frankford Avenue just steps away, perhaps there's a belief that the good vibes from the corridor can spill over onto Norris Street, adding a slightly hidden retail amenity for the neighborhood. It's actually pretty consistent with the fact that the folks building this thing are the same ones who own the building across the street which is on its way to renovation.

But it's definitely coming together

The end of August was our last visit to 1919 Market St., a long vacant corner in Philadelphia's central business district that we've eyed repeatedly over the years. Remember, this parcel was, a few years back, the site of the first PHS Pop-up Garden. And when we last made our way to the site, the good people at Brandywine Realty Trust had finally broken ground on a nice-sized mixed-use building. We aren't coming back to this property today because they've made a noteworthy amount of progress; instead we're just relaying some new and more specific information that emerged yesterday on Philly.com.

Future is unclear

The 800 block of N. Lawrence St. has gone through some big changes in the last few years. A couple of one-off projects have replaced vacant lots and older buildings, and a delayed condo building is finally up as well. Half of the Duck Flats project has replaced a large vacant lot. On the west side of the block, Seventeen at Lawrence is moving along well, with the Orkney Street side framed and sheathed and framing underway for the side on Lawrence Street.

They'll join their sister homes soon

As we're sometimes wont to do, we were meandering around some of the lesser known streets in Northern Liberties this week, looking for some projects that are perhaps off the beaten path. This is a great neighborhood for such wandering, chock full of blocks that stop and start. And there's the occasional log cabin. When we got to the skinny 1000 block of N. Leithgow St., we came upon four new looking foundations. Then we remembered we actually wrote about them about a year and a half ago.

Looking up skinny Leithgow St.
The foundations

Back then, 1018 and 1020 N. Leithgow St. were under construction and the foundations pictured above were a well tended vacant lot. In the time that's passed, one of the homes sold for $508K. The other is on the market for just under $650K. With 2,500 sqft of living space over four floors and a parking spot, we would not be surprised to see the developers get close to this price. And soon, four more homes will rise next door.

Certainly not what we expected

Student housing construction has been all the rage near Temple, with projects large and small changing almost every block in the neighborhoods surrounding the school. So when we heard about a zoning notice at 1412 W. Dauphin St., just a couple blocks north of campus, our minds immediately went to student housing. And upon reading the notice which calls for fifty-four units and eighteen bike parking spots, we had no doubt that another big student housing building was on its way.

But we were wrong! Hey, it happens every now and again.

Current view of 1412 W. Dauphin St.
Looking down Carlisle St.

Doing a little digging, we realized that plans for this site aren't for the kids at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. According to a Civic Design Review presentation from August, developers want to build an affordable housing building for senior citizens on this site (creatively) called Dauphin Street Senior Residences. Has a nice ring to it, no?

Well this would be cool

Generally when we talk about Washington Avenue, we're harping on possible projects west of Broad Street. Despite the fact that the other half of Washington Avenue is more developed with residential uses and less of a moat between neighborhoods, it's still ripe with redevelopment opportunities. Recently, we learned from Passyunk Post that developers are eyeing the northeast corner of 6th & Washington for a major redevelopment. Currently, it's got three residential properties.

Current view

Next month, there's gonna be a presentation to QVNA for a seven-story building with ground-floor commercial and twelve apartments above. This would be a major change for this intersection, which has already seen some changes in recent years. A new building went up on the southeast corner a couple of years ago which is currently home to a dentist's office. Just to the south, a long-vacant property was replaced even more recently with a new mixed-use building.

And five homes will rise in its place

Earlier this month, developers from Greenpoint Developers, an offshoot of Tower Investments, presented plans to the Fishtown Neighbors Association to demolish a church at 1401-09 Marlborough St. and construct six homes with off-street parking in its place. The community was not impressed.

Church plus zoning notices

Neighbors interpreted the project as an attempt to squeeze a sixth house onto a too-small parcel, which led to a vote of five in support and thirty-one opposed at an FNA zoning meeting. Before anything can be built here, the former Pilgrim Congressional United Church of Christ, which we wrote about over the summer when it had just gone under contract, will have to be demolished. According to Matt Karp, FNA zoning chair, after the presentation, members of the community talked and were able to pinpoint one decisive issue with the project that concerned them; the sixth house. Designed by Paul Drzal, the project proposed five single-family homes facing Marlborough Street with an awkwardly squeezed-in sixth house accessed on Belgrade Street, but pretty much facing the backs of the five homes on Marlborough Street.

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.

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