A reader reached out recently and gave us the heads up about some construction that recently got underway on N. College Avenue, less than a block off of Ridge. Even though this reader has a wonderful Instagram account called Genbrewerytown that follows development around Brewerytown, we were in the area today and were in the mood for Rybrew anyway, so we snagged some of our own photos.
You might think, given the timing of this construction and the proximity of the two properties, that they're coming from the same developer. But that doesn't seem to be the case. The larger hole in the first image, at 2035-39 N. College Ave., is owned by one party which acquired the properties at different times over the last few years. Plans call for three triplexes on these three lots. A different developer is pursuing the same idea at 2025 N. College Ave., with a pair of existing buildings occupying the space between the two projects. The situation on this block, where most of the properties have sat vacant for many years, is echoed on the blocks to the north, along the Sharswood / Brewerytown border. To the south is Girard College, with views of an old stone wall and a building peeking above.
Despite the explosion of affordable housing development on nearby blocks in Sharswood, we believe that these projects are of the market rate variety, trying to take advantage of proximity to booming Francisville. Just around the corner, we told you a few months ago about the Pointe at 19th & Ridge project which will be a mix of market rate and workforce housing because all the land was purchased from the City. The developers on College Ave. don't have the same restrictions to contend with, and as such we don't see affordable housing as terribly likely here. What we will say is that we're encouraged by development at this location and hope it portends additional construction on the blown out blocks to the north. A resulting mixed-income community in Sharswood would be a wonderful outcome, we'll see whether it can come to fruition.