Walk down just about any block in Point Breeze north of Dickinson Street, and you’ll surely see some kind of construction activity, or at the very least, a building that’s gone up within the last couple years. As development in Point Breeze continues to hum along and competition for properties escalates, developers are looking more and more at Grays Ferry as an alternative. In Grays Ferry, land remains plentiful and much less expensive, though sale prices on new construction are commensurately lower than they are in the neighborhood on the other side of the 25th Street viaduct. And while we don’t expect prices in Grays Ferry to ever catch up with prices in Point Breeze, it stands to reason that they’ll continue to tick upward, as more developers build in the neighborhood.

That brings us to some new foundations that we spied the other day on the 2600 block of Federal Street. Developers purchased 2645 and 2647 Federal St. last year, paying a combined $160K for the lots. The eastern lot is zoned for multi-family use, but the western lot is zoned commercial. The eastern lot permits a duplex by right, and that’s what’s happening there. Looking to keep things simple (and because the western lot makes no sense as a commercial property), the developers went to the ZBA to get approval to build a duplex there as well. So look for a pair of duplexes in the near future, surrounded by a bunch of vacant lots. On the plus side, most of the vacant land to the east is owned by one entity, so it’s quite possible we’ll see additional construction next door in the relatively near future. Or maybe not for another ten years, who knows.

NE corner of 27th & Federal

The same probably can’t be said for the vacant lot at 1201-13 S. 27th St., directly across the street. This large-looking property is actually half a dozen small properties, most of which are owned by the same party that’s owned them since 2002. A notable exception is a random lot at 1207 S. 27th St. which has traded a couple times over the last several years and is currently listed for sale for $89K. We’d hope that a single developer would find a way to buy that lot and the others surrounding it in order to build a single project here, but that might be a pipe dream.

SE corner

On the northwest corner, meanwhile, an old blighted building that looked like an angry cartoon character has been torn down, and zoning notices are now in place where that building once stood. Back in April, the ZBA approved a pair of town homes here. And we already told you previously about the new home going up on the southwest corner.

NW corner

While we’re here, we might as well also mention a couple new homes going up around the corner, on the 2600 block of Manton. Developers bought 2642 and 2644 Manton St. back in 2013, paying a mere $30K for the pair. Now they’re building a couple of new homes, which will join some other new homes still under construction on the eastern end of the block.

New homes around the corner on Manton
New home on Manton that's under contract

The home pictured above is under agreement at a list price of $480K, and that’s not much lower than prices for new construction in Point Breeze. So perhaps Grays Ferry is catching up more quickly than we realized.