On Facebook over the weekend, we learned that developers had something cooking at 2844 Tasker St., which isn’t a surprising fact, on its face. As we’ve seen many times over the last couple years, there’s been an increasing interest in Grays Ferry, spreading west from Point Breeze. Most of the development in Grays Ferry has taken place in the northern and eastern parts of the neighborhood, making 29th & Tasker a bit far south and a bit far west. Still, we’ve seen occasional infill projects in this area as vacant land continues to get gobbled up around here.
When you look a little carefully at the property and the proposal though, it’s one of the more interesting projects you’ll see in this area. First, the property is zoned CA-1, which is meant for retail pad sites. This is a rather odd zoning designation, considering that the property is surrounded by residential properties, other than Lanier Park across the street. Sure, the property might have historically been used in this fashion, but looking into the future, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
We’re encouraged to learn that the developers who bought this property are seeking a variance to build 22 townhomes here. Certainly, considering the context of the neighborhood, this project makes plenty of sense and we just hope the community and the ZBA are also on board. We wonder what kinds of prices these homes will trade for- we’ve seen better located homes in Grays Ferry trade in the high $300K range, and we’d guess that the developers will shoot for those prices. It’ll be interesting to see whether they’re able to get them.
Remarkably, there’s even more planned for this block. 1611 S. 29th St., the former auto garage that’s adjacent to the property that we just described, is also going to the ZBA. Here, developers are planning ten homes- we suspect it’s the same group that’s developing the other twenty-two. For those that don’t do great with mental math, that’s a combined thirty-two homes at 29th & Tasker, and that’s a whole lot of new construction inventory for this location. Perhaps the plan will be to rent a few of the homes for awhile, as to not flood the market? On the other hand, these might be some of the lowest cost new construction homes with proximity to Center City, so maybe there will be more of a market than we expect. Certainly, the proximity to the excellent and recently renovated Lanier Park won’t hurt.