We wouldn't say that vacant lots are becoming an endangered species in East Kensington, not by a long shot, but the IUCN might consider them to be "Vulnurable," or at the very least "Near Threatened." Today we look at some fresh examples of the disappearing East Kensington lots trend, this time near Amber Street. New development has spiked in this neighborhood in recent years, and with significant projects now happening past Emerald Street, it's a bit of a surprise to find ourselves in this part of the neighborhood. But here we are, with some holdover vacant lots fading away.
Our attention was drawn the other day to the intersection of Amber and E. Cumberland Streets, where developers have poured a foundation at 2086 E. Cumberland St., with framing looking imminent. The permits aren't clear what's happening here, but we'd expect either a duplex or a triplex, as the property is zoned for multi-family use and it's a pretty nice size. At first we thought that the garage next door was somehow included in this project, but we were mistaken. But recognizing the demand for land around these parts and the fact that a little garage isn't the highest and best use for this property, we'd bet it'll turn over at some point. Speaking of turning over, the vacant lot on the other side of the foundation, at 2088 E. Cumberland St., sold to developers two years ago and it's a good assumption that it too will get redeveloped sooner than later.
Across the street, we see a collection of vacant lots, with four on E. Cumberland Street and two more on Amber Street. 2100 and 2102 E. Cumberland St. have some fresh zoning permits, with plans calling for two new homes. The lot next door has been owned by the same party since 1980 and its neighbor is owned by a City agency, so they'll probably continue to sit vacant for the immediate future.
We might not be able to say the same for the aforementioned lots on Amber Street. Developers have been trying to build something for the last couple years at 2469-73 Amber St., but have had a very tough time getting the necessary approvals. Initial plans called for three triplexes, but after meeting with EKNA the developers revised their plan down to a single 7-unit building that got shot down at the ZBA at the end of last year. It looks like they've made a new application for a plan with the same number of units, but it must be different in some way or the ZBA wouldn't hear the case a second time. Something will surely get approved here, eventually.
And so, a few more East Kensington lots will say bye bye for good, further culling the herd. Unlike the golden toad and the passenger pigeon though, we'll be glad to see 'em go.