On this Monday evening of a holiday week, perhaps you’ll unwind from a busy day at the office with a glass of wine. And maybe, as you’re sipping a fine Cabernet or Merlot, you’ll daydream about a long ago trip to wine country, and an unforgettable glass of wine you enjoyed one lovely night in Napa. As the daydream continues, your mind will wander, as it often does, to Philadelphia and its many streets. Following the only logical train of thought, the little known and occasionally loved Napa Street will come to mind, as you make the incredibly special connection between geography and oenology. You know, as one does.

So let’s talk about Napa Street. This north-south street runs between 31st and 32nd Streets, appearing and disappearing with seemingly little rhyme or reason. Napa Street makes appearances, a few blocks at a time, in Allegheny, Strawberry Mansion, and Grays Ferry. Today, we take a peek at the 1400 block of South Napa Street, in the Grays Ferry neighborhood. This block, as the image below shows quite clearly, has experienced a ton of vacancy over the last couple decades. Most of the vacant lots on this block, we believe, were created through the NTI program at some point in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

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Aerial view of the block, pre-construction

You can probably guess where this is going. Quite a bit of this vacancy is now on the outs, as a developer is actively building about a dozen new homes on this block. These homes are for sale at market rate prices, with prices ranging from $550K to $600K for the home that’ll eventually rise at the corner. The homes include about 2,000 sqft of interior space, with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Also worth noting, the homes will all include garage parking, accessed from the rear.

View at the SW corner of Napa & Reed
New homes on the east side of the street
More infill on the west side

We are seeing increased construction in Grays Ferry these days, as Point Breeze has become fairly saturated with new development and folks continue to look for new and slightly more affordable neighborhoods. While most of the development in this neighborhood is scattered around, this project will dramatically change the face of this block, and for the better. All this vacancy has dragged down the 1400 block of S. Napa for far too long, and the new homes should improve the experience for everyone. Interestingly, a few vacant lots will remain, even after this project is finished, so look for additional construction on this block at some point in the future.

Newer apartment building on the 3100 block of Reed Street

When these homes eventually sell, the new residents on Napa Street will join some other fairly new neighbors in this area. You may recall, an apartment building was finished last year just north of here, on the 3100 block of Reed Street. When we visited this building in February of 2023, the exterior space was rather bare. In the time that’s passed since then, a garden has bloomed in front of the building, adding a touch of natural vibrancy to the area. Let’s hear it for all kinds of vibrancy in this little pocket, be it from nature or new neighbors. Whether it’s wine, beer, whiskey, or iced tea, we can all drink to that.