Our boy William Penn laid out a sweet city, with the downtown grid creating predictability with right angles and numbered streets. But as you're surely well aware, that grid starts to break down as you head out of the middle of town, and much of that wonderful predictability starts to go out the window. That's a long way of saying that we have no idea how the lot at 1834-36 Vineyard St. came into existence, but we can't imagine it would've happened in Center City. Take a look at this thing, it's a 32' x 240' property that runs between Cameron and Perkiomen Streets, dead ending at the rear of some properties on Wylie Street.
Until fairly recently, a couple of homes sat on the front of the lot on Vineyard Street and they had the biggest backyard ever. A reader reached out the other day though, letting us know that those homes have been torn down and there's some new construction taking place at the property.
It seems that MJL Properties, regular developers in this part of town, are working on a new project here. You may remember, this developer built a pair of quadplexes on the 1800 block of Wylie Street a couple years back, perhaps they acquired this parcel at the same time. A few years earlier, they built the 35-unit project across the street on Vineyard.
They went to the ZBA over a year ago with a plan for ground-floor retail, 27 apartments, and 27 parking spaces but abandoned the retail element to get their variance. Now it seems that they're actively moving forward with the project, which incidentally wraps around to Cameron Street. Perhaps that'll be the entrance to the parking lot, as this had been a garage in the past.
This seems like a no brainer of a project to us, as it will effectively utilize a heretofore wasted parcel in a booming neighborhood. We've said it before and we'll say it now, continued mixed-use development on Ridge Avenue will soon mean an influx of businesses in Francisville, and those places will need as many local customers as possible. Projects like this will only mean better things in the future for the commercial corridor.