vacant lot

So we're guessing it's definitely happening

As Northern Liberties was reborn in the last decade plus, the northeast corner of 2nd & Brown has sat vacant. For quite some time, a sign on the property advertised the overpriced lot as 'The Best Corner Left in Northern Liberties,' though current and former owners of other neighborhood corners might disagree. But wherever it sits on the Northern Liberties vacant corner rankings, we were all too pleased a couple of years ago to learn that it would finally be redeveloped, with plans for a six-story mixed-use building designed by Landmark Architectural Designs. The project was approved by the ZBA in May of 2012.

Two duplexes coming

In the northeastern section of Point Breeze, two long vacant lots should soon get redeveloped. A couple of years ago, we told you about plans for two triplexes on the 1100 block of S. 15th St. which received pushback from some folks in the neighborhood who didn't want to see the additional density. We were happy about the project, however, because it was replacing two blighted and vacant homes. Those buildings are now finished and rented out.

Two newer triplexes

A few doors down though, at 1154 and 1156 S. 15th St., the block has suffered with two vacant lots for many years. The northern lot has some nice size to it, and the southern lot is even larger, stretching all the way to Hicks Street. Developers purchased the larger lot late last year, and closed on the smaller one in January. They purchased the latter from the City through the Philly Land Works site, proving that every now and then the City does indeed sell off its lots. Just not quite frequently enough for our liking.

Another home under construction on the 1900 block

Back in April, we checked in on the 1900 and 2000 blocks of Titan Street, noting three new homes under construction on the 2000 block and two more on the 1900 block. Since our last visit, there's been plenty of progress, as one would hope.

Three new homes on the 2000 block

In recent weeks, the new home at the corner and 2004 Titan St. have both sold. 2002 Titan St. is still on the market, at a list price of $355K. Considering the fact that this corner was a giant vacant lot for many years, the transformation is pretty unbelievable.

In the past

Looking over to the 1900 block, different changes are afoot. 1944 Titan St., which replaced a long-vacant home one off the corner, has been finished and is now under agreement at a list price of around $350K. At the corner is a big home that went up last year in the place of another vacant lot.

Under agreement on the 1900 block near the corner

A few doors down, at 1930 Titan St., the same developers that rehabbed 1944 Titan St. are doing more of the same. Unlike the home near the corner, 1930 Titan St. has a third floor setback, which will hopefully only have a minimal impact on the upstairs floorplan.

A great fence will be lost

Three new homes should be on the way in Fishtown at Thompson & Colona, a corner we brought to your attention last year. Back then, we showed you a long vacant home with ivy-like sideburns on it sides wall and an enormous overgrown side yard with a fancy and flowery fence. 

A year ago

When we wrote about 1244 E Colona St. last summer, the property was under contract. It officially sold last November for $149K. Since then the overgrown yard has been trimmed, and recently developers appeared before the Fishtown Neighbors Association, which supported plans to demolish the building, create three lots from one and build a single-family home on each, making for three in all. Two of the homes will have garages.

Because all the cool kids are doing it

We've been pretty thorough in documenting the changes that have taken place on Frankford Avenue in recent years. Heaps of new businesses have opened, many buildings have been renovated, and throngs of new buildings have replaced vacant lots. It's reached a point where it's almost unexpected to walk a couple of blocks and not see something new and interesting taking shape. Today, we look at three new buildings that have recently appeared over a very short span on Frankford Avenue, which only reinforces the running theme.

New building number one

First we look at 1780 Frankford Ave., which stands right next door to another relatively recent addition to the corridor. Like the adjacent property, this one is zoned for multi-family residential, and that's exactly what the developers are building. This triplex coule be a rental and it could be condos, but at best we can be fairly certain it won't look like the building next door. Though it would be kind of cool for there to be two Spanish-inspired buildings next to each other on Frankford Avenue.

Development spreading all over the neighborhood

The other day, Civetta Property Group reached out via Twitter to give us the heads up about a new project they have in the works on Cedar Street in "Port Fishington," which technically sits in the Olde Richmond Civic Association's boundaries. The parcel, 2625 Cedar St., sits almost on top of Cione Playground, and has been vacant for a long time.

The lot

On this lot, the developers are building seven new homes. Four of the homes will front Cedar Street, and three will front Ritter Street and have a great view of the baseball field. A couple of the homes are already listed for sale, with prices of $329K and $349K. Check out this rendering of the Cedar Street homes which shows some very contemporary architecture:

Rendering of the Cedar St. homes

Looking at these homes, we were reminded of another project in the general area that we told you about back in April. It turns out that the same guys behind the Cedar Street project are building six homes on Sepviva Street. One would imagine the Cedar Street homes will look pretty similar, though the details aren't entirely apparent in the elevations drawing.

Big project finally happening

It was in the winter of 2011 that we first told you about a planned residential development at the southern end of Pennsport where Moore Street hits E. Moyamensing Avenue. On a long vacant lot, Design Builders Associates put up a sign advertising Moyamensing Estates, a fifteen home gated community. Prices for the 2,500 sqft homes were slotted at under $400K, which seemed necessary given the location. Center City Team was able to dredge up some project renderings from Landmark Design which showed a drive aisle with access from Moyamensing.

Old rendering

Years have passed, the lots has remained vacant. In March though, Passyunk Post reported that a new sign appeared on the site advertising Moyamensing Place, which was to be built by the same developers. According to public record though, the property changed hands earlier this year for $1.3M. Passing by the lot today, we found that new foundations have been poured for homes fronting Moore and Pierce Streets.

Better than what's been there

Last week, a couple of folks who work at the still shiny JBJ Soul Homes tipped us off about some new construction activity at the northwest corner of 15th & Swain. It took us a little while to get to this Francisville corner, which was a vacant lot for years and often home to some pickup trucks. When we finally visited yesterday, we discovered a new hole in the ground.

In the past
Current view

The lots were purchased by developers earlier this year for a combo price of $220K. They've hired Harman Deutsch to design a mixed-use building for the site, making this a by-right build. Plans are for a four-story building with a commercial space on the first floor and an apartment on each floor above. No idea what the commercial tenant will be, though we don't know what kind of retail will be the right play here.

S'gonna be a big boy

For years, the northwest corner of 24th & Manning has been a curiously vacant lot a block away from an entrance to the Schuylkill River Trail, and sitting in the shadows of former warehouses that have been converted into apartment buildings. But yesterday, a reader tipped us off that construction has gotten started on what will be a monster single family home.

Current view

Developers are planning a four-story home for this corner which will fill almost the entire 40'x47' lot. Designed by Cecil Baker + Partners, the home will have 7,658 sqft of living space if you include the basement, and will also have two garage parking spaces accessed on 24th Street. As a throwback to the days when the warehouses nearby were used for storage and making stuff, the parcel is hilariously zoned industrial. As such, the main refusal for the project was using it as residential, which CCRA didn't oppose when they considered the project last year. Because it's not zoned residential, the fact that it's 40' tall did not trigger a refusal. They actually could have built something twenty feet taller if they were so inclined.

You can check out a new house while you're there

The 1300 block of S. Chadwick Street in Point Breeze is in the middle of a transformation. Until the beginning of this year, this block featured a shocking number of vacant lots. Notably, its eastern side had a collection of lots with a combined length of over half a football field.

In the past

Back in January, groundbreaking took place for a twelve home development that's filling in most of the giant lot pictured above. To date, four homes have been completed, and a second phase of four more homes have been framed out. In addition, there are plans for more homes to fill in some of the vacant lots on the western side of the block, and those should be getting started pretty soon.