For years, the 1000 block of S. 17th Street was objectively terrifying. Blighted, empty, collapsing buildings mixed with overgrown vacant lots created a mise en scene reminiscent of a horror movie. When the City thankfully condemned the homes on the block and tore them down, it was surely a relief to neighbors and reduced nightmares in the area by approximately eight percent. Over two years ago, when the eastern side of this block was a much more innocuous grassy field, developers first presented SOSNA with their plan for Carpenter Square.

In the past

A year ago, the first phase of the project broke ground, seeing the construction of eleven new town homes with some of the most unique architecture in the neighborhood. Not only do the homes look different, but they're also LEED certified and have two-car parking in the rear. When we first told you about the project, the 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom homes were expected to sell in the mid-to-high $500K range. Incredibly, they're now listed for just under $700K. Four homes have sold to date and interest has been strong in other homes in the development.

Carpenter Square homes don't look like the others in the neighborhood.

Last month, we were passing by and saw some digging taking place at the site. Checking back a few weeks later, we discovered a rather large hole in the ground just to the north of the eleven new homes. The hole, of course, will soon be home to the second phase of the Carpenter Square development, which will include a large commercial space, six condo units, and a plaza that's open to the public. Several restaurateurs have expressed interest in the retail space, though no lease has been signed as of yet.

Digging from last month

More recent shot of the hole in the ground

Rendering of corner building, now under construction

Site plan of the corner

When the corner property is completed, it will mark an amazing transformation for this side of the block. To go from scary movie to luxury homes and a restaurant in less than a decade is really remarkable. But it won't mark the end of the line for this block. Across the street, as we told you about a few months back, the Redevelopment Authority has issued an RFP for the redevelopment of another large parcel. If that stretch of land is redeveloped with the same care as the east side, this block will have truly graduated to another level. And with plans for another neighborhood park on the northwest corner of 17th & Carpenter, we see an idyllic scene at this intersection in the very near future. It really is amazing just how much a small area can change in a brief period of time.