Large Project Under Construction on the East Falls Border

We admit, we don’t make our way up to East Falls, Manayunk, or Roxborough as often as we’d like, call it an occupational hazard of working out of Center City. But every now and then, especially with a juicy tip in hand, we’ll find our way to that part of town. Recently, we got word from friend of the blog @genbrewerytown about a significant project under construction at 34th & Commissioner, in what’s known as the Allegheny West neighborhood. We’ve seen little to no development in this neighborhood previously, but that could be changing. It’s right on the edge of East Falls, with the Trolley Car Diner only a few blocks away. There’s a world in which development starts to spread east from East Falls, and puts a charge into Allegheny West. Certainly, this project could play a role in growing interest in the neighborhood.

So what project are we talking about? Here’s a look at what’s happening at 3000 N. 34th St. so far:

Looking up 34th Street
Construction at 34th & W. Commissioner
Better view of the construction

Developers are currently building seven apartment buildings on the 3400 block of W. Commissioner Street, and there’s one more building still to come in this row. We can’t find the specific permits for these buildings, but we did happen upon a 2015 story from East Falls Local which gave us some insight into what’s going on. Though the developers could build quadplexes by right, the story indicates that these buildings are duplexes. The story also says that the units are condos, but some Instagram commenters have indicated that the units have been listed for rent, so we’re not sure what’s going on in that department.

But wait, there’s more! In the first image above, we showed you that there’s a ton of vacant land directly to the south of these new buildings. That land is owned by the same developers, and they’re planning to build two rows of apartment buildings with frontage on 34th Street and Shedwick Street, and with parking in the middle. Again, according to the East Falls Local, those buildings will each contain three to four dozen units. And still, that’s not all. At the southern end of the block, the developers own a 28K sqft parcel that’s zoned IRMX. We can expect a 7 story building on that parcel, with 60-80 more units and retail on the first floor. Here’s an overhead view of the project from KCA Design Associates.

Birds eye rendering

On the high end, this project could add almost 200 units to this area. And frankly, if it wasn’t already under construction, we’d be skeptical about whether it would even happen. But as we see, the first phase of the project is moving along nicely which makes us optimistic that construction will continue along to future phases. One possible issue, we wonder whether the Sun Chemical building across the street will depress interest in these apartments.

Sun Chemical, across the street

Then again, if the development at 3000 N. 34th St. proves successful, we might see a situation where developers buy the Sun Chemical property and redevelop it for residential use.