As recently as a decade ago, the northeastern section of Francisville was in rough shape. Years of disinvestment combined with wholesale demolitions of vacant properties during the Street administration had left a tremendous amount of vacancy in this part of the neighborhood. There were numerous blocks where empty lots outnumbered buildings, and many of the remaining buildings were not in terrific shape either. Let’s look at the block of 15th Street between Ogden and Parrish Streets as an example. Back in 2009, this block was home to a shuttered gas station, two possibly vacant warehouses, and a one-story church.
The changes on this block didn’t happen overnight. By 2012 there were five homes on the western side of the street. The next year, two more arrived to the north of those homes. In 2016, construction started on a rather tall triplex on the southeast corner of 15th & Ogden. Two years later, another home was under construction on the west side, the gas station was being replaced by a quadplex, a triplex had appeared on the northeast corner of 15th & Parrish, and there was a new home and duplex next door as well. By the time last year rolled around, the church at 845 N. 15th St. and its associated lots were the only properties on this little block that had not yet been redeveloped. And you can probably guess from the title of this post that this is no longer the case.
Where the church once stood, developers are now building an 8-unit building which will also have a couple of parking spots. The building certainly outshines many of its contemporaries, with red stone on the first floor and red brick on the second and third floors with some patterns mixed in as well. Nice work by CANNO Design, once again showing off their commitment to handsome architecture, and a hat tip to the developers for following through with the design details. That being said, we wish the building didn’t include a curb cut for just two parking spots- perhaps that was part of a negotiation to get a variance for the project?
Perhaps now you’re wondering about the huge vacant lot on the block immediately to the south. It’s been a minute, but we previously told you what’s going to happen here- you mean you don’t remember? If we may refresh your memory, this lot is part of a workforce housing development that’s currently partially complete. The two story homes you see in on the eastern side of the street in the photo above were constructed in the last couple years, and are the first phase in a for-sale workforce housing development, where sale prices are set at $230K. We have to assume that the second phase, which will include another 20 units on the western side of the street, will still be moving forward, and one of the largest vacant lots in Francisville will finally disappear.