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.
Despite the approvals, the project never got off the ground. And by the time last fall came around, we learned that new developers were stepping in and scrapping the mixed-use plan rendered above. In its stead, they were planning a two-story structure with a second-floor yoga studio and a yet-to-be-determined first floor commercial tenant. And while we're all about additional commercial activity on the 2nd Street corridor, we felt this new version of the project looked like a missed opportunity for height and density in a desirable location. We had our fingers crossed that, like its predecessor, the two-story plan would also fade into the ether. But that doesn't seem to be the case.
As you can see, construction is now underway. When we last wrote about this, commenters noted that a gas station once lived on this corner and perhaps soil contamination issues rendered a talled building unfeasible. The fact that it's being built on slab, according to the commercial listing, would seem to support this possibility. Financial and engineering issues aside, we still wish that the new building had a residential component to it- businesses on the corridor need as many near neighbors as possible. But on this particular best corner left in the neighborhood, it ain't gonna happen.
Oh well. If we're lucky, we'll make up for it with a bunch of apartments up the street sometime soon.