About a year ago, we wrote about N. 7th Street between Girard and Thompson, a blighted block in need of a facelift and dotted with potential for development. We were drawn to this block by a project at the corner of 7th & Thompson that was at that time under construction but is now complete. We noted several blighted buildings and vacant lots that begged for redevelopment just to the south of the new development, but we wondered whether it would take several years of additional Northern Liberties and Fishtown development before builders would take more of an interest in the block. It turns out it didn't even take twelve months.
According to permits approved by the ZBA for 1216-20 N. 7th St. in late January, there are plans for six new triplexes on the block. Rb3 Thompson LLC bought the lots last summer and are rearranging the lot lines to create additional density. The zoning notice mentions turning four lots into six, so we wonder whether the additional lot is to the west on Franklin Street. The parcels are oddly zoned commercial and the new project will be strictly residential, which seems appropriate given the character of the block.
In the photo above, you see the completed project at the north end of the block. In case you don't remember, that project involves four new townhomes, two apartments and a corner commercial space with a bright sky blue exterior at the southwest corner of 7th & Thompson. Before that project, the corner was a fenced-in vacant lot. With an added project, and two dozen new units, this block accelerating toward rebirth.
Now that there's additional building coming to 7th St., perhaps it may attract another ambitious developer's eye around the corner to the 600 block of Girard Ave., where in the middle of the block sits a crumbled building. For now though, we'll enjoy watching 7th St. come back to life one project at a time.