According to a zoning notice from last month, an unexpected change is coming to 1308 W. Girard Ave.

Kind of blue

Home to Drexel Bindery Inc. for twenty-five years and located on a fairly depressed commercial corridor, this location doesn’t exactly seem ripe for redevelopment. But that’s just what’s planned for this building, which sits on a hefty 40’x120′ lot, as the owners have requested a variance to add a story to the building, and build out twelve apartments units on the site. It seems possible that most of the printing operations that currently take place in the building will be relocated to another address to make room for these apartments.

Though tons of building taking place several blocks to the south in the Spring Arts area, and even more building is going on several blocks to the north in the area that immediately surrounds Temple University, this address is too far from either area to represent an organic outgrowth from either hot spot. Perhaps the only explanation for this new development is a belief by the owners of the building that the tremendous growth in Francisville in recent years can jump over the neighborhood’s eastern boundary and support new housing options on the other side of Broad Street. And the close proximity to a subway stop is probably a selling point as well.

Development will not include the vacant lots to the east of the building

Is this the first of what will turn into many projects just to the east of Francisville? Will people want to rent units on this block? Where will we get our binding done if Drexel Bindery moves their operations?

We’ll just have to wait and see.