A couple weeks back, we told you about a pair of homes under construction on 26th Street and ten units planned for the 2600 block of Federal Street and openly wondered whether we might find ourselves spending a little more time in Grays Ferry as development begins to pick up in this neighborhood. Well, it didn't take long for us to make a return visit. Recently, a reader tipped us off about some construction activity at 2638 Ellsworth St., a vacant lot next to a seemingly vacant home.
According to the L&I website, plans call for a by-right triplex on this site, which is seemingly a challenge considering the lot is only 546 sqft in size. Then we realized that the same developers own the lot next door and they're clearly combining the two parcels into one for this project. Good for them, creatively finding a productive (and permitted!) use for a pair of adjacent 14'x39' lots. It seems possible that this project will inspire other development on the block, which has its share of vacant lots and blighted buildings but the challenge for future developers, at least on this side of the block, will be the tiny lots.
Around the corner at 1112 S. 27th St., other developers are taking advantage of a slightly larger parcel and building a new single-family home. Since the parcel is zoned for industrial use, this project needed a variance, which the ZBA granted last year. Perhaps with this precedent, the developers that own the lot next door will be inspired to build as well. As for the large lot immediately to the north, it's owned by a mix of different developers and long-time owners, so it's possible a home will spring up on one of those lots too.
This neighborhood certainly has plenty of room to grow, with many buildings and lots in poor and/or vacant condition. Especially for the blocks close to Grays Ferry Avenue, we expect to see lots of additional development in the coming years. If you see something we haven't covered in this neck of the woods, let us know!