Two Mega Lots Should Disappear in East Kensington

While East Kensington has become a booming neighborhood in terms of residential real estate development over the last handful of years, its history is distinctly industrial, like many other sections of Kensington. Most of the factories went belly up or moved away decades ago, and years of disinvestment in the neighborhood resulted in numerous old industrial buildings falling into disrepair and eventually getting demolished or burning down. Some of the former industrial sites have gotten redeveloped, with prominent examples including the Boston Court project and a sizable senior housing development. Still, East Kensington features quite a few former industrial sites that are sitting as enormous vacant lots.

Two of those lots, however, are now slated for redevelopment. 1929 E. York St. covers just of 21K sqft, and sits right next to the aforementioned Boston Court town homes. 1924 E. Hagert St. checks in at just over 30K sqft, and is located just across the street from the York Street property. Several readers reached out to us in the last few days, letting us know that zoning notices have appeared at both addresses.

1929 E. York St.
Looking up York St., newish homes on the block
1924 E. Hagert St.
Same property, viewed from Hagert St.

For the York Street property, developers are looking to build 9 duplexes and a five-story mixed-use building with 28 apartments and a pair of commercial spaces. That project would include 20 parking spots, too. As for the Hagert Street property, we’re seeing plans for something a little more straightforward- 25 duplexes. Between the two projects, we count nearly a hundred new units for the area.

Historically, both of these properties were owned by the Providence Dye Works, and a developer bought both a couple years back. It’s possible that this developer has just been biding their time, figuring out how they want to take on these rather large parcels, and it’s also possible that another developer is stepping in, paying a premium for these desirable parcels at a time that the market continues to rage in this neighborhood. Either way, it will be a welcome sight to see these large properties finally get redeveloped, as the vacancy has been a drag on this part of East Kensington. Given the industrial history of the site, we wonder whether the developers will include any architectural tributes to the buildings that once stood here. This doesn’t seem terribly likely, but it would certainly be a cool approach.