It had been a minute since we’d visited Brewerytown, so when we found ourselves in the neighborhood the other day, we meandered a bit, looking for any new projects. We happened upon a few, including some initial site work on 26th Street, just south of Oxford. The 1500 block of N. 26th St. is fairly interesting, as it contains a number of homes but also includes several industrial buildings, including a large edifice on the eastern side of the block which houses an electrical supply business.
For many years, at 1539 N. 26th St., a squat church sat immediately next to this building. We wonder whether this building was constructed as office space for the industrial building next door, perhaps back in the day when it was still operating as a dairy. Nevertheless, the Temple of Love and Praise worshipped here for many years, at least until Design Pro Development purchased the property last year. The developers demolished the former church and look like they were just about to start working on a new project when the citywide construction stoppage hit.
Perhaps you’re wondering what’s coming here- allow us to fill you in. Coming soon (as soon as construction is a thing again, we mean) is a 5-story building with ground-floor retail and 28 apartments on the upper floors. This will be different from any other building on this block, but because the property is zoned IRMX, surely due to its association with the building next door, the project is happening as a matter of right. Whether the building fits in with its surroundings or not, we’d still say it’s a great project for the area, as we’re generally big fans of higher density. The retail is a nice touch too, considering Girard Avenue is a big four blocks away.
Not for nothing, but the distance from Girard is probably the biggest story here. As Brewerytown has seen more and more construction over the last several years, development has definitely moved from Girard to the north. For such a significant project to be moving forward almost at Oxford Street might have been impossible even a few years ago. And yet today it’s not a shock at all, given the construction on Cecil B Moore Avenue and even on Montgomery. This gives us a sense that, in the years to come, this block will see additional changes- perhaps some industrial buildings could turn over and go residential?