Westrum Development was a pioneer in Brewerytown construction, building the Brewerytown Square project a little over a decade ago on a block-sized parcel that had been sitting vacant for decades. For years after, Brewerytown Square was on something of an island, surrounded by tons of vacancy. Since the market began its recovery, those properties have slowly filled in. A shopping center with a supermarket appeared to the south. The Fairmount @ Brewerytown project renovated an old warehouse across the street into apartments and retail. And Westrum doubled down on the neighborhood with the 31 Brewerytown project on the 3000 and 3100 blocks of Thompson Street, adding over a hundred new units to the neighborhood. Now Westrum is set to, uh, triple down on the neighborhood, to coin a phrase.
Less than a year ago, we shared the good news that developers had purchased the former Red Bell Brewery at 32nd & Jefferson. At the time, we were optimistic that this new might mean that the huge vacant lot to the south could have some construction activity in its near future. And wouldn't you know it, that seems to be very much in the cards. Westrum owns this 130K sqft parcel and has a long term plan to build a project with 201 apartments over 3 buildings with over 200 parking spaces, about 6K sqft of retail space, and a pool in the middle. The project came to Civic Design Review earlier this week and according to Plan Philly it passed through the committee despite some grumbling that the project included too much parking and felt too suburban.
As is the case with any project that goes through CDR, we have some images that show what we can expect here. It seems a mixed-use building at the corner of 31st & Master will be the first to get built, along with the swimming pool. A building on 31st Street will go up in the 2nd phase, with a final building on Master Street as the third and final phase to the project. Given the speed at which the 31 Brewerytown project happened, we can see these phases getting rather compressed but who knows if history will repeat itself here. Check out these some images from the CDR packet, with credit to JKRP Architects for the design work.
This is, of course, fabulous news for this neighborhood, which seems to have something new and exciting taking place every time we visit. Last year, we hoped that work at the former Red Bell Brewery might inspire construction on this parcel, but with no work having taken place so far, now we're crossing our fingers that this project will inspire work at the former brewery. With the Eastern Building and Pyramid Building renovations taking place just up the street, there's certainly no shortage of precendent for adaptive reuse in the neighborhood.