A building on Front Street that stretches to Amber Street is now in the process of getting renovated into eighteen apartments, as we told you last week. What we didn't mention at the time is that another project is coming soon right next door. Earlier this year, foundations were poured at 2026 Amber St. in preparation for the Amber on Amber project from Postgreen.
According to Chad Ludeman from Postgreen, framing will soon be starting on this eight-unit rental project with an unusual architectural approach. The property has a bit of an unusual shape, with over 110' of depth but only 36' of width on Amber Street. By right, the developers could have built a mixed-use building on this site with ground-floor commercial and nine apartments. Instead, they've "eliminated the commercial" and they're going with a pure residential play. But rather than build a standard structure that has 100% frontage on the street, they stretched the building back and created a large side yard. This allows for additional windows and also creates an open space for the enjoyment of the people who will eventually live here.
Remember earlier when we mentioned that they eliminated the commercial aspect but put quotes around it? And do you see the commercial space in the floorplan above? Are we confusing you yet? Allow us to explain: In a technical sense, the first floor space will indeed have a commercial use. But in a practical sense it will be an additional residential unit.
What makes it different from the other units is that it won't be occupied by long-term tenants, but it will instead be used as an Airbnb apartment. For those unfamiliar, the Airbnb service organizes vacation rentals, and it's become a literal cottage industry in the last few years. But this will be, as far as we know, the first new construction apartment that's built (and permitted) with the specific purpose of being used as an Airbnb rental. Suffice to say, it will be among the nicer, or at least newer, options in town.
We wonder, if this proves to be a success in East Kensington, can we expect Airbnb units tacked onto future projects in other neighborhoods?