There are few things that excite us more development-wise than when an older building that has fallen on hard times gets a new lease on life. As we reported last summer, the project at 2501 Oakford St. most definitely falls into this category. Sitting just to the west of the 25th Street Viaduct, this former clothing factory and storage facility wasn’t looking its best after years of neglect.

The view from our visit last summer, looking a bit rough
Current view from under the 25th St. viaduct

As you can see above, we are happy to report that things are looking up for this former warehouse. Stanev Potts has designed a one-story addition to this four-story building. Look for 54 apartments to join some basement studio space for this wonderful rehab. Large, industrial-style windows take up a majority of the facade, with the original brick work complemented by what looks like some sort of bronze-ish horizontal bands between the windows. While still very much in progress, things already look much better than our previous visit to the site last year.

Still looking a bit rough around the edges back in July 2021
Current view looking from the west shows major progress
Future view of the building at the same angle at street level
Major work taking place on south-facing facade
Rendering of what's to come
Rendering of the top floor addition gives an idea of the sweet views
Rendering of the interior lounge shows clean, modern look

This is yet another huge piece of the puzzle for the development of Grays Ferry along the CSX-owned viaduct that hovers ominously above 25th Street. While there has most certainly been on-going development in the area, the close-by and crumbling tracks certainly aren’t doing the neighborhood any favors. Several new townhouses have gone up on the east side of 25th St., but the repairs to the viaduct that CSX promised all the way back in 2015 haven’t gone quite as quickly as the neighbors had hoped.

New-ish construction on the east side of the viaduct
A rendering from CSX from the beginning of the repair process - a glimpse of what's to come?

In fact, the city filed a formal complaint against CSX this summer to expedite the repairs, as the deteriorating structure continues to cause danger for those walking/biking/driving below. While we don’t think things will change overnight, we’d imagine that a safer and better-looking viaduct would make this area even more appealing from a development perspective. Let’s hope that CSX gets their act together soon so that this neck of the woods becomes a bit more pleasant, though given their, uh, track record, we aren’t gonna hold our breath.