Big Project Coming to the Devil’s Pocket

If you live in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, you’ve definitely seen signs for Metro Impact, a development company that’s built dozens of homes in the area. Run by Steve Shklovsky, Metro’s building practices have evolved and improved over time, with larger and more interesting projects coming along as they’ve grown. Their latest proposal is their biggest and most involved to date, and will involve the construction of eleven new homes on the 2500 block of Montrose St. That block, located in the Devil’s Pocket, is one of the least desirable in the neighborhood, and this project would change things dramatically.

North side, today
South side. Better.
A fine view of the Trigen plant

As you can see, the block mostly contains vacant lots and blighted homes, with a smattering of occupied places and new homes under construction. Mr. Shklovsky is proposing eight homes on the north side of the street, and three on the south side. The homes will be about 2,700 sqft and will include 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, garages, a roof decks. Prices for these homes will start at $399K.

Shklovsky presented to the SOSNA Zoning Committee in November, and received some feedback about the look of the homes and this project’s role in transforming the entire block. He returned last week with some revised plans which represented a dramatic improvement.

The northern homes
Looking down the street
The northern homes, straight on
Annnnd the southern homes

Neighbors on nearby Christian St. still seem concerned about the effect of shadows on their rear yards, along with the small amount of yard space separating their houses from the new homes. Shklovsky’s responded that the narrow width (14′) of the lots necessitated the taller height and the smaller yards. A solution of reducing the number of homes on the north side from seven to eight seemed to be a nonstarter with the developer and we honestly can’t blame him for that.

We’re not sure whether he’ll have to make any more concessions at the ZBA hearing next month, but we’ll be very interested to see what happens. Hopefully, a plan that strongly resembles this one will be approved and a positive transformation will soon take place on this depressed block.