We've seen development spread from Fishtown through East Kensington in recent years, with the construction generally spreading northward from Amber to Coral, to Emerald, to Jasper Street. Amber Street has been largely redeveloped at this point, but Jasper Street still has a long way to go. And this makes sense, as Amber Street is closer to Fishtown, while Jasper Street is closer to Kensington Avenue. Pretty self explanatory, actually.

So you can imagine our surprise today, as we were heading down Kensington Avenue after chasing down a story in Harrowgate, and we noticed a pair of new looking homes on the 1800 block of E. Oakdale Street, a block that's pretty much the northern tip of the neighborhood. Aside from these two new homes, this block hasn't gotten much love of late, and there are roughly as many vacant lots as there are residences.

View on E. Oakdale St., looking toward Kensington Ave.

Two newish homes

Developers bought the 1816 E. Oakdale St., the property on the left, over the summer and though a new home is progressing nicely, they haven't yet listed their property on the market. Perhaps they're intending to list it for rent? The new home on the right, 1817 E. Oakdale St., was built by V2 Properties, a developer we've seen build a bunch of homes lately in South Philadelphia. That home has already sold, for just under $300K. We should note, a developer called Kensington 2035 LLC bought 8 properties on this block over the last year plus, giving us a sense that we haven't visited the 1800 block of E. Oakdale for the last time.

At the end of the block, under the El

One more notable factoid to point out relates to the Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center, located at the end of the block on Kensington Avenue. You might not immediately realize it, but this building was originally built as the Star Theatre a little over a hundred years ago. It was also, famously, the Starlite Ballroom music venue in the early 1980s. According to a commenter on Cinema Treasures, it housed a soup kitchen in the 1990s, and the community center opened around 2003. 

Old and grainy image of the Star Theatre, from Cinema Treasures

Pretty cool that the new homes are so close to this awesome adaptive reuse.