The apple, it seems, was tempting, but not tempting enough. Now, the building is for sale, and the apple could end up falling very far from the tree.

Apple storage

After receiving strong community support, as well as some opposition (perhaps a one-man show style opposition, according to this City Paper story), developers from Iron-Stone got zoning approval back in April. But to this point, they’ve been unable to secure the necessary financing that would enable them to embark on the ambitious Apple Lofts development just south of 52nd and Baltimore, according to Andrew Eisenstein, a managing partner at Iron-Stone.

The building is now available for $2M through NAI Geis Realty, and is being marketed as a fully approved student housing/apartment complex situated in an area “brimming with students seeking unique housing opportunities.”

Current view

Rendering of the lofts

Eisenstein said there was no truth to rumors the project was stalled by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s office, and said on the contrary, the councilwoman was supportive and helped developers communicate with some of her opposing constituents.

Blackwell’s office did not return numerous calls seeking comment. When we spoke with Blackwell’s zoning officer, Marty Cabry, last month, he informed us the project was still alive.

“This is all about financing,” said Eisenstein. “It’s a hard project to finance, due to it being on the outskirts of where more development is. I believe in the project and I think it changes the neighborhood for the better but [we] need to get banks and funders on board. We are getting some traction but not enough to break ground.”

From another angle. Buy it today!

It is disappointing to see this project, which would have repurposed a long-vacant building and provided development in an area void of it for years, apparently fall through. But we respect Iron-Stone’s vision. What this means, perhaps, is that for now, West Philly isn’t the apple of enough big investors’ eyes.

Now one wonders, what is the deal with the Croydon?

–Lou Mancinelli