These homes are rising just a block off of the bottom of Frankford Avenue, and around the corner from Sugarhouse Casino. When we first brought the project to your attention, we were hopeful that adaptive reuse would soon take hold at two old warehouse buildings nearby at Frankford & Wildey. Remarkably, that's exactly what's happened in less than a year. And the new homes pictured above should only add to the good times in the area.
In the gradually changing West Poplar neighborhood, several projects will bring new residents to 12th Street between Sping Garden and Green, an area where a string of new homes have been constructed over the past few years that have redefined the neighborhood.
Looking up 12th St.
Six homes have risen at the northeast corner of 12th & Brandywine, with one home on 12th Street and the rest stretching down Brandywine. We last visited this project a few months back, when the Brandywine homes were just getting framed out. A year ago, this corner was an overgrown vacant lot. Purchased in September for $675K by DSB Holding Company, such a high price for an undeveloped lot shows the rising value of the neighborhood and the horizon of potential investment developers see here.
Six homes are almost done
View from the north
Across the street, and closer to Green St., there is also new duplex construction underway at 546 N. 12th St., a former vacant lot. The developer appears to have been waiting for the right time to build as the site was last purchased in June 2012 for $45K.
If you've been to Point Breeze lately, you've probably noticed that there's a ton of construction going on all over the neighborhood. Heading up 18th Street the other day, we kept bumping into projects so figured we'd pass along some updates. First, we look at 1334 S. 18th St., which was previously a vacant lot. Just to the north of this construction site, Community Ventures built some affordable housing units a couple years back.
1334 S. 18th St.
Now framed out to two stories, this property will eventually be a single family home. Developers Oakwood Elm LLC bought the corner property last year for $55K which is a pretty good price considering that it's allowing a by-right build of a home that will sell for over $350K. The vacant lot immediately to the south, in case you're wondering, is owned by the City. So look for it to get developed really soon. Or maybe in ten years. We just don't know. One perk for whoever ends up living here is that they'll be mere steps from the still newish cafe, the Pharmacy.
In Powelton Village, tucked amongst a row of older row homes, three new single-family homes are currently being constructed where once stood a vacant unkempt lot for many years at 42nd & Baring. The lots were owned for decades by Drexel University, which wisely decided to unload them in 2012.
In the past
The string of three lots back up to Drexel's Vidas Athletic Complex and was purchased in June 2012 for $148K by North 42nd St LLC along with another lot down the street. So far the three-story homes have been framed out and, notably feature third floor setbacks to "blend in" with the two story homes on the block. Though without front porches, they'll never really fit in with the surrounding housing stock.
Despite the fact that it's one of our favorite neighborhoods in town, East Kensington is admittedly a mixed bag. Some blocks are wonderful, filled with occupied homes. Other blocks are mixed, with a smattering of vacant lots or blighted buildings mixed in with newer and older housing stock. And other blocks just look rough. Take, for example, the 2000 block of E. Fletcher St. a few years ago.
In the past
Just a couple of years ago, this block contained a handful of homes, a stalled project, some blighted buildings, and a solid dose of vacant land. But time has been kind to this block. The stalled project finished last year, and contains apartments that listed for rent at $2,100/mo. And one of the vacant lots is currently under construction.
Developer Roman Guzvha bought the corner property last year, and is expected to break ground at the end of the month. The duplex he has planned for the site is already listed for sale, at a price of $450K. Each of the units will have three bedrooms, with two bathrooms in the lower unit and three in the upper unit. The project is subject to change, but should look something like this:
Next to the future duplex is a lot with no immediate plans that's been owned by the same investor since 2005. Next to that lot is a hole that recently appeared.
Increasingly these days, we're seeing vacant lots get filled in East Kensington. As lots have become more scarce on Amber Street, we're seeing more action on Coral Street. In a couple of years, we would bet that building will pick up on Emerald Street. And so on. Today, we look at the corner of Coral & Fletcher, just up the block from the fascinating Vader House. There, we find a new home rising with plans for some more in the works.
View from Fletcher St.
2231 Coral St. is currently under construction. The new home, along with the older home next door, was purchased by developers Luval Inc late last year. According to the listing, the developers plan to demolish the existing home and build another new construction home. Interestingly, the home that's currently framed out is being built on a 12' lot, which makes for an awfully skinny home.
In November, when we checked in on 1440 S. 5th St., the a new home had been framed out and bricks were being laid. We passed by about a week ago, and the home looked to be mostly finished. Previously, there was a vacant lot at this site.
The new home
According to the listing, the home has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and about 2,500 sqft of living space. It's on the market for just under $400K. And it certainly looks like no other home in the area. What do you think about the architecture? For some reason, we think the home looks like a ship.
When you think of Callowhill, you probably first think of tall buildings that were formerly warehouses or factories that have (or have not) been converted into offices or apartments. Or maybe the Reading Viaduct, which will hopefully become a park someday soon comes to mind. What you probably don't think about is the development of single family homes. Who thinks of such a thing? But that's exactly what's happening soon at 1211 Wood St., where a new project was approved about a week ago.
Developers bought the vacant lot at sheriff's sale back in 2012, and have retained YCH Architects to design a single family home for the site. The dimensions of the property make development a little challenging, as it 20'x35'. The home, according to the plans we found on the Callowhill Neighborhood Association site, will be wider than most, but only 27.5' deep. The kitchen, uniquely, will be in the basement along with a dining room. A living room and bedroom are planned for the first floor. The second and third floors have much more standard layouts, with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the 2nd floor and a master bedroom and bathroom on the 3rd. So that's four bedrooms and four full bathrooms, if you're keeping track. There will also be balconies in the back and a rooftop deck.