Ah, the seemingly cursed Cameron Square project at 19th & Wylie– could it finally be moving forward? Here’s a refresher on this property, in case you haven’t been taking notes over the years. In 2010, the Hankin Group bought this 1.5 acre lot from the City for $900K, controversially winning the right to buy the property over another developer. We first wrote about this site back in 2013, describing a plan for 69 units. In 2016, nothing had happened here, but the plans had changed a bit, with the unit count dropping slightly, to 66 condos. About a year later, the plans had changed considerably, with a four-story apartment building with 61 apartments and 19 underground parking spots scheduled for the south side of the property and 28 townhomes expected to the north. Four years later, as the surrounding neighborhood has continued to develop at a staggering pace, there’s still nothing doing here. But maybe not for much longer.
A portion of this property is scheduled to go to Civic Design Review next month, and it appears the plans have changed again. From what we can tell, the north side of the property will stick with townhomes, but the unit count has gone down to 26 homes. That project won’t be large enough to trigger CDR, and it seems the developers (who may or may not still be the Hankin Group) have subdivided the property and the two projects are moving forward independent of each other. The apartment building on the south side of the property is indeed significant enough to go to CDR, hence we’ve learned the information below.
We’re enthused to tell you that the planned apartment building is growing by a story, with the density increasing as well. The new plan calls for a five-story building with 115 units and 52 basement parking spots. NORR did the design work, and these renderings should give you a nice idea of what’s to come.
Assuming that this iteration of Cameron Square is the one that actually gets built, it’s possible that it was worth the years of delay, since this is the best proposal we’ve seen to date. A mix of for-sale product and rentals always felt right here, and we imagine that the developers will have no issue selling through a couple dozen townhomes, most of which have parking, in this desirable part of town. Similarly, we believe that the apartments will be easy to rent as well, with easy access to both Fairmount Avenue and Ridge Avenue in either direction. If any neighborhood needs this kind of density, it’s Francisville, which has been trying to reinvigorate its commercial corridor, and as we’ve said time and again, proximate density is the very best thing for neighborhood commercial corridors.
We’ve been burned several times before with this site, so we are going to temper our excitement and our enthusiasm until we actually see a shovel in the ground. That being said, it feels like construction has never been closer to being a reality here, and this gaping vacancy in the middle of Francisville could soon fill in with something attractive and appropriate. Maybe we can collectively try to will this one into existence as it moves down the path to permits, so let’s close our eyes and send some good vibes, and perhaps something will finally happen at this long vacant site.