The 2600 block of Federal Street has undergone some rather unbelievable changes over the last few years. As recently as 2017, the properties just off the northwest corner of 26th & Federal, next door to the Progressive Worship Center, were sitting vacant and overgrown. You may recall two summers back, we told you that a couple apartment buildings were in the works here, and now a six unit building and a four unit building are both completed and occupied. Like we said before, we’d have been happier if the same developer could have built one project on these two lots, but this is a fine outcome as well and certainly a positive step for the block.

Eastern side of the 2600 block of Federal

These weren’t the only vacant lots on the block, however. The entire west side of the block was a sprawling vacant lot until just a few years ago. Unlike the lots on the eastern side, these were better tended, but they also covered three times the square footage, so we’d argue that their vacancy had even more of an impact on the area.

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Huge vacant lot on the western side of the block in 2017

As things changed on the eastern side of the block, things have also changed on the western side. Excepting one or two properties, all of the vacant lots on Federal Street have filled in, and things are rapidly progressing behind this block, on the 2600 block of Annin Street. As was the case to the east, multiple developers are getting in on the act. Close to the corner, we’ve seen a couple duplexes appear. Another developer has built a pair of single family homes next door. And then there’s the biggest development on the block, two quadplexes at 2629 and 2635 Federal St., which look like they’re almost done.

Current view of the western side of the 2600 block of Federal

This project is the largest on the block by virtue of the 2nd phase of the project which sits on Annin. That portion of the development includes three more quadplexes and a single family home- those buildings are all in the early construction stages at this time.

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Construction on Annin
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Foundations indicate more construction upcoming

This block reminds us of some other blocks that have undergone dramatic transformations over the years, like the 2100 block of Carpenter or the 1000 block of S. 16th Street. While the south side of the 2600 block of Federal was not in such dire straits, the north side had somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 vacant buildable lots just a few short years ago, and just about all of them are now filled, adding two dozen new units to the block. Throw in the additional construction on Annin Street and you have over a dozen more units. In terms of volume of construction, this block is certainly the exception in this neighborhood- but still, it’s a great indication that Grays Ferry is turning a corner in terms of development and soon it may start catching up to neighboring Point Breeze.