After a pleasant cup of joe at River Wards Cafe the other day, we noticed some construction activity on Amber Street, right near Lehigh Avenue. The construction is still in its very early stages, with heavy machinery on the site perhaps doing some soil testing. Still, we had no idea that a project was coming to the huge vacant lot at 2649 Amber St., so we were caught a little off guard.
We weren't kidding when we said that this is a huge property. It measures over 37K sqft, with frontage on Lehigh Avenue, Amber Street, and Collins Street. We can see it was listed for sale back in 2006 for $1.1M, and then again on Loopnet in 2013, but we don't know the asking price from that listing. Suffice to say, given the work that's now taking place on the property, a new owner has stepped forward or at least a new party has it under agreement.
In October, a plan went to the ZBA for 30 homes on this property, with each of the homes including one or two car parking. We'd have to think that the homes would be arranged in two rows fronting Collins and Amber Streets since frontage on Lehigh Avenue would seem less desirable, but we confess that we have no idea how the project will lay out. We would also guess that the homes will be listed for sale, but we've been wrong about that sort of thing in the past.
Of course, this project will dovetail nicely with the Woods Square project that's coming soon across the street. That site is almost three times the size of the thirty-home project and include 178 apartments and retail space on Frankford Avenue. And on the other side of that project, you may remember that the Kensington Community Food Co-op will eventually open at the corner of Frankford & Lehigh. With these large projects happening this far up on Frankford Avenue, we wonder whether we'll start seeing more and more construction north of Lehigh, past the railroad tracks. It certainly bears watching in the next few years.