Over the years, several developers have eyed different properties on the waterfront in Manayunk, and most have struck out. The community has generally opposed these projects because they're not enthralled with the idea of apartment buildings that will definitely flood. Seems pretty reasonable, what with the enormous safety hazard and such. Despite all this, from what we can tell, 1 Cotton St. will soon get a project after multiple iterations over a stretch of many years.

View from the bridge to Venice Island

A big vacant lot next to the river

This property was once the site of Connelly Containers, long demolished. The project, from Realen Properties, was previously known as the Waterford Apartments at Cotton Street and included plans for 270 condo units. That number then shrank to 205 units, per Friends of the Manayunk Canal, then came down to 102 rental units. Somewhere along the line, the project got revised again to 156 units and is now called the Isle Apartments. Looking at the site, a City-issued sign along with the sign advertising the project would seem to indicate that work is finally moving forward here.

Sign on the site

Looking at the rendering, it appears that there will indeed be parking on the first floor, very much located in a flood plain. And while the Venice Island pumping station helps with wastewater management in Manayunk, Newsworks tells us that it won't stop the flooding that occasionally makes its way close to Main Street. Perhaps the folks at Realen have a plan to deal with this inevitable issue or maybe the units will just come with a "park at your own risk" warning. With the amazing location, central to Manayunk, perhaps some people will be willing to risk it. We wouldn't, but we don't claim to speak for everybody. At least not yet.

Stay tuned to see whether this thing actually starts construction or this is just one more false alarm. Also, we'll be curious to see if the site floods while it's under construction, perhaps nature's way of weighing in on the merits of the project.