On the southwest corner of Carlisle and Stiles Sts., Jin Feng Real Estate Investment LLC is planning seven new triplexes, ostensibly for student housing. Currently, this corner includes a vacant lot, a shell that used to be a speakeasy, and a garage that was turned into rental apartments at some point in the past.

The corner

Looking south down Carlisle St.

Looking west, on Stiles St.

All of these structures will be torn down and replaced, provided the developer receives approval from the ZBA. This seems like good news, as the new buildings will do away with the blighted corner building. Additionally, the same developer owns a number of properties directly to the south which also serve as student housing.

What’s particularly interesting to us about this project is that it’s closer to Francisville than it is to Temple University. In theory, these units will target Temple students, but could they prove just as attractive to non-students who want to be close to the action in Francisville but are comfortable living on the other side of Girard Ave.? Or will the “Tapped Keg Phenomenon” (when students already live on a block, non-students are much less likely to want to move there. Yes, we made this up) keep the party going on Carlisle St.?

If nothing else, this new development could inspire the redevelopment of the stretch of Carlisle St. immediately to the north. One new construction project on that block appears to be stalled, but the surrounding lots could certainly be developed.

Looking north. Not pictured are the two high school kids to the right who were cutting class to have a smoke.

The Legendary Blue Horizon is less than a block away, and with a presentation to the Planning Commission last month regarding its renovation, its transformation into a boutique hotel with a couple of restaurants appears to be moving forward. Yes, this block could be very attractive in the very near future.