One of the largest residential developments in Philadelphia history is currently under construction on the Delaware waterfront. The project is called Northbank, and it’s located on a roughly 30 (!) acre parcel at 2001 Beach St., on the border of Fishtown and Olde Richmond. Though the property is under the jurisdiction of both neighborhood groups, it’s not really located in either neighborhood, given its size and location on the other side of I-95 and behind some industrial buildings.

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Unexpected location for a large project

As you might expect from a project on a parcel of this size, it’s taken several years to come into focus, going through multiple iterations. Essentially, the developers are creating a new neighborhood on this site, building hundreds of homes, dozens of duplexes, and a sizable apartment building with retail. The homes and the apartments are being built by a partnership between Concordia Group and D3 Developers, the same team that built about a hundred homes at the former Mount Sinai site in Pennsport. The duplexes are being built by Toll Brothers, in an interesting case of a different developer coming in for a little chunk of a larger project. Here’s a site plan, which shows what we can expect, probably a few years into the future.

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Site plan

And here are some renderings, ’cause why not.

Rendering of the Anderson, the starter homes in the development
Rendering of the Essex, the most expensive model

You might think that the price points for these homes would be on the lower end, given their location, essentially in the middle of nowhere on the Delaware waterfront. But you’d be sorely mistaken. The Anderson model, the least expensive homes, start in the mid-$500K range. And sure, that’s a bit of a discount compared to Fishtown or points closer to Center City. But the Essex models, which are priced starting in the high-$900K range, are full fare homes, notwithstanding the location. We should mention, homes in this development are now under construction and some of them are already under agreement.

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Look at those new homes
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Entrance to the site

On the one hand, you certainly can’t argue with the views.

The good views

On the other hand, you’re at some point going to need to look in the other direction and you’ll see this:

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Looking up Schirra Drive, toward I-95

In many ways, this project reminds us of a larger version of the Siena Place project, though with significantly better views and a bit more of a hike to the stadiums. That project, along with the aforementioned Southward on Reed project at the Mount Sinai site, have shown us that buyers have a real appetite for large scale town home projects in Philadelphia, and that new construction homes with parking continue to sell briskly at price points under $1M.

It might be less than perfect for the first couple rounds of move-ins at Northbank, with ongoing construction nearby and not a whole lot of walkability. But by the time the project is wrapping up in a couple of years, we suspect it will have become an incredibly desirable place to live. At that point, Fishtown and Olde Richmond will have to duke it out over which neighborhood it belongs to- or maybe the people living in Northbank will simply decide they’re their own neighborhood in the end.