Construction On a Half Vacant Block of Letterly

As East Kensington continues to see development on through streets like Amber and Coral, the side streets are also getting in on the act. We were meandering around the neighborhood last week and noticed some action on E. Letterly Street between Amber and Coral. A new home at 2084 E. Letterly St. was the first thing that caught our attention, perhaps because of the vinyl siding that's visible from Amber Street. The fact that it looms a bit over the neighboring homes may have also had something to do with it, good thing for that third floor setback! </sarcasm>

Nah, it really was just the vinyl that made us notice the home

This home has replaced a vacant lot and is currently under agreement at a list price of $270K. That price seems a little low for East Kensington, though the 14' width of the lot may have something to do with what someone's willing to pay here.

You can see in the image above there's more construction down the block.

Three more in different stages of construction

From what we can tell, three different developers are replacing three vacant lots at 2068-72 E. Letterly St. with three new homes. The farthest home has made the most progress to date, the middle home looks like it should be starting soon, and the near home is the only one that's currently listed for sale. The asking price is $339K, a significant premium over the first home we mentioned. While higher quality materials and a lack of a setback might explain some of the price difference, we'll be interested to see if two homes on the same block, with similarly sized lots, will sell at such different price points. Of course, the pricier home is listed and not under agreement so a final sale price has yet to be determined.

Close to Coral St., a large garage and some newer homes next door

At the end of the block, you can see a large garage which may someday be a candidate for redevelopment and the back of a project on Coral Street which we brought to your attention back in 2014. In the time since then, you can see that project has wrapped up.

To review, this block of Letterly Street has two homes actively under construction, one that's about to get started, and one that recently finished. But perhaps more interesting than what's happening on this block is what isn't happening… yet.

Across the street

The other side of the street is a big empty field, for the most part. Our assumption (thanks to years of experience with this stuff) was that the City owned all the land over here, which would explain its persistant vacancy. It turns out we were only partially right. The City does own a few lots here, but the majority of the land is owned by a developer called Sergeant Street LLC. Ignoring for a moment that Sergeant Street is actually a few blocks away, these developers have slowly bought up these lots, mostly at sheriff's sale. We have to assume that they're now trying to buy the City's handful of lots and they'll eventually get started on a major project on this block. By our count, that would mean nine more homes on this block. That would be a big deal indeed.