While perusing the ZBA calendar the other day, we noticed that 717 N. 17th St. had received a variance. Looking at some older maps, we can see that this property has been empty for quite some time, since at least 2007. A few years back PHA built an unfortunate structure immediately to the north, one of a string of architectural crimes they've perpetrated on Philadelphia. But soon a triplex will rise at this corner, and two of the units will have a parking space.
You can see in the image above, there's another project ongoing right around the corner which we didn't even know about! The building appears to front Swain Street but the address is actually on Chadwick Street. 714-24 Chadwick St. has also been vacant for quite some time. Looking at old photos, it was pretty gross, a sign of excellent stewardship from longtime owners PHDC. But new owners purchased the large lot in 2014 and now they're building a seven-unit building. The photo is a few days old, so we'd imagine the building is at least another story higher by now.
We already mentioned the one PHA building immediately to the north of the first project, and there are some additional PHA homes next door. They have not been very well maintained, and at least one is sitting vacant.
With all the private development that's improved Francisville over the last several years, it's no surprise that ten new apartments are arriving here over two buildings. It's similarly not a shock that government agencies which have held property in this area over the years have not done the greatest job maintaining them. With continued improvement in the area, we can only hope that these agencies will be able to do a better job in the future.