Over the summer, several new developments took place on Lancaster Avenue and more improvements are planned.

At at 3835 Hamilton St., twelve new apartments have replaced an ugly warehouse. University Reality bought the building in August 2012 for $300K and now the end results of that investment are on show. When we wrote about the site a few months back, the building had just been framed out. Across the street, at N Saunders & Lancaster, a triplex has risen on the site of an old gas station. That property sold in February 2012 for $65K. Here as well, what in July was a vacant lot where a building had been razed, is now a completed triplex.

New building on Hamilton

The new triplex

Across the street, the Mighty Writers have moved into Hawthorne Hall, where the People’s Emergency Center is unleashing a two-pronged development. The first step was to complete the commercial aspect on the first floor of the building. The second is a major renovation of the rest of Hawthorne Hall, the curving former theatre with arching bay windows, into a restaurant on the ground-floor with a second floor theatre space.

Mighty Writers

Some space for rent on Lancaster Ave.

Right now, the red and brown tones on this block are singing songs in the autumn light. And we’re singing songs too about all this development. Well, not entirely, but it is great to see the change that is happening along here along Lancaster Avenue. Plus, there are a few retail spots on the 3800 block of Lancaster that could use filling. We imagine they will fill in over the next couple of years. Drexel is building dorms for 1,200 at 34th & Lancaster, and the West Philly Food Hub meanders along Lancaster selling fresh veggies. Plus a number of businesses have opened in the past few years along the 3800 block of Lancaster. We imagine that once the Hawthorne Hall renovations are complete, right here along Lancaster Ave. with the 10 trolley that runs right downtown, things will be kicking and so will development.

–Lou Mancinelli