The property at 2009 E. Susquehanna Ave. has gone through some significant changes over the last few years, but then again, you could say the same about countless other properties in this part of town. A building stood here until 2016, sitting vacant and blighted. It traded at sheriff’s sale a few years back, selling for $125K, but the new owners either couldn’t or wouldn’t save the original building, and after demolition, the property has been sitting vacant. Recently though, construction got started on a triplex here, and in general we wouldn’t cover a one-off triplex project because there’s just not that much to say about it. But this one is a wee bit different, thanks to the design by Bright Common Architecture.

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In the past
Current view

This building is unlike any we’ve seen in all our years covering new construction in Philadelphia. There’s no front door. There are only three windows on the front of the building and they’re all pushed to one side. The bricks are in a stack bond pattern, while the vast majority of brick facades in Philadelphia are stacked in an offset pattern. Needless to say, it catches the eye as you pass by the project.

Entrance to the units

The building obviously has an entrance, and you can find it in the building’s side yard. According to the architects, this setup allows for a more intuitive layout for the units in the triplex, while also creating a unique appearance for the building. We should note that this approach is only possible because of the unique width of the property- it’s 22′-wide instead of the typical sixteen foot width we see around town. In this area, this extra-wide property is particularly unexpected, since we’ve seen so many extra-skinny projects around East Kensington.

El across the street

We should also mention that this project is happening right across the street from the El. Just last week, we covered a couple new apartment buildings that just started construction at Front & Diamond and noted that construction next to the El is nothing unusual these days. The same thought process applies here, and we don’t imagine that the proximity to the El will have any impact on rentals or even potential condo sales at this particularly unique triplex.