If you’ve strolled around Manayunk at any point over the last couple decades, you surely understand how the neighborhood feels pretty packed. Just typing that last sentence leads to flashbacks of trying to find parking at night along snowy, hilly roads where there seemed to be an endless parade of cars and people. Despite the crowded vibe, we’ve seen numerous residential projects, some of considerable scale, appear in the neighborhood in recent years. And now a new project at 4436R Main St. could soon join the party. Currently home to Michael’s California Detailing and a boatload of parking, some recent zoning documents show that something is in the works for this spot out on Venice Island.

An aerial of the site just off of Main St. in central Manayunk
Another aerial shows proximity to the action

Rock Development is looking to demolish the current structure and build a two-building project that would take up nearly the entire site. The larger building A to the west will feature 163 units, with building B adding another 80 to bring the total to 243. 151 bike spaces along with 132 car spaces will be included as well, offering multimodal transportation options to future residents. These zoning permits are conditional, as the project will receive final permits once completing the Civic Design Review process (presumably at a date in the nearish future). We don’t have all the details yet, but we do know that the development team utilized the low-income bonus to bump up the unit count and increase the height – generally a good thing in our book. Though the project is permitted by right, we imagine there will be plenty of teeth gnashing, as Manayunk isn’t generally known as a neighborhood that welcomes density with open arms.

View from the entryway to the property from the mainland
Parking plan shows access and layout
Elevation drawings show us...not much

So will we see this move forward? We’re thinking it will, especially because it won’t need a zoning variance. Despite this, folks are concerned with the blocking of views from the Manayunk Canal Towpath, along with the potential for flooding issues given the proximity to the Schuylkill River. The project site sits next to the similarly scaled The Isle apartments, so there is an immediately adjacent example of how this project may impact the area. Given the very, very close walk to the Manayunk Station on the Manayunk/Norristown Septa line, we might argue that the amount of car parking is a little much, but we can’t really argue with nearly 250 new apartments on an underutilized parcel right along Mananyunk’s main strip. We’re sure to learn more about these plans in the coming months, so don’t worry – we’ll be here to keep you up to date.