Big Changes Coming to 27th Street Beyond Girard

We last checked in on the 1200 block of N. 27th St. a little over a year ago, noting that a new duplex was under construction at 1210 N. 27th St., next door to the North Abbey residential conversion at 27th & Girard. While the renovated church to the south was surely a help is selling the two condos for a combined $517K, the row of dilapidated and vacant homes to the north, mostly owned by PHA, likely didn't help. Ditto the large vacant lot on the eastern side of the block, where stone staircases are all that's left of several demolished homes.

Row of vacant parcels

Some fencing at the site would seem to indicate, however, that change is in the air. Over the course of the last several months, a developer has acquired half a dozen properties on this stretch and according to the permits they're now planning four triplexes and one double-wide building which we assume will contain six units. With the parcels zoned for multi-family use and extending back 100', this project is entirely by right. If our math is correct, that'll be 18 new units for this block. And we're only getting started.

Parking lot, viewed from 27th & Stiles

A reader gave us the heads up a couple weeks back that permits had been posted at 1229-47 N. 27th St., a large surface parking lot. The permits indicate a plan to subdivide the 30K+ sqft parcel into 21 lots and we simply assumed that this would mean a plan for 21 new homes. But we were way off base. Looking at the Zoning Archive, we see that the developers, who somehow bought the land quite recently for under $500K, intend to build a collection of duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes here. A drive-aisle will shoot down the center of the property on Stiles Street, and the buildings will face 27th and Taney Streets. In all, if our math is correct, this project will add another 63 units to the neighborhood.

The view from Taney Street

Add in the first project we mentioned, and that makes 79 new units in the chamber for Brewerytown, less than a block away from the Girard Avenue corridor. While Girard has seen some solid growth in the last few years, it still has plenty of room to improve and projects like these bringing density to the neighborhood are a major step in pushing the corridor forward. We haven't heard any updates on the two-year-old plan that would bring similar residential density plus a commercial component to the long-vacant lot at 27th & Girard, but perhaps the market is finally in a place where the neighborhood can absorb multiple significant projects at the same time.