About six weeks ago, we predicted that there would finally be some movement on the 800 block of S. Darien St. by the end of the year. Turns out, construction activity commenced only a couple of weeks later. 817-21 S. Darien St. was purchased in early November for $605K, and the developers are wasting little time.
From what we can tell, four houses are on their way at this location. Two foundations have been poured for extra-wide homes that will resemble those to the north, and footers are in for two more homes that will be a more standard width. This is huge news for a lot that’s been vacant and underused for decades.
Meanwhile, across the street, we’re seeing a lot of earth moved around in anticipation of the nineteen-unit development that we brought to your attention over the summer.
Some neighbors have expressed disappointment that the development will cover up two long-appreciated murals. As we said before, we regret the loss of public art, but we don’t see this as one of those situations where public art should stand in the way of development. New homes, whether we appreciate their aesthetic or not, add population and energy to a neighborhood, improving the lot for local businesses and increasing property values for existing residents. In addition, new people moving to Philadelphia increase our too-small tax base- a necessity if we are to maintain our position as a world-class city. For a parcel this large and in such a desirable location to sit vacant is a shame and we’re pleased to see it finally developed.
Now, about those two blighted properties next door…