In January, we wondered whether the 5100 block of Chester Avenue in the Kingsessing neighborhood of Southwest Philly might be poised for improvements as Baltimore Avenue continues to develop as it moves farther west. It seems now is the time as across the street from some homes we profiled this winter, a couple of blighted Victorians are being renovated.

The homes

Rehab efforts started at the location late this winter. The homes are located less than a block from the Kingsession Rec Center, which features tennis, sports fields, an indoor basketball court and a library. 5120 and 5122 Chester Ave. are not owned by the same party, contrary to our expectations. From what we can tell, 5120 was purchased last year for $38K by a gentleman named Michael Golow, who is returning it to a previous use as a four-unit apartment building. 5122 was bought by someone named Harouna Sall for just over $22K, and this individual just pulled permits for rehab about a week ago.

Farm 51 is on the same block

Whoever ends up living in these properties in the future, they will be close to the benefits of urban agriculture at Farm 51, located pretty much across the street. The creation of that farm, spurred by the renovation of the home in which its owners live, and another (with the space for the farm in between) may have been the mechanism that spurred changes on this block. In West Philly, with proposals for projects like ninety two units at 43rd & Baltimore and renovations of the Croydon, we wonder if development will leak beyond 51st Street in the coming years. It might happen, as there have been recent local meetings in Cedar Park about two new projects at 51st & Baltimore, including the opening of a jazz club. Stay tuned, folks.

–Lou Mancinelli