The area around 5th & Fairmount captures the present state of Northern Liberties to a T. For far more years than we can remember, the square block surrounded by 5th Street, Fairmount Avenue, 6th Street, and Green Street was dominated by a couple of old warehouses and some surface parking lots. These buildings represented the industrial history of the neighborhood, even though we’re pretty sure they hadn’t been used for industrial purposes for quite some time. Of course, the old warehouses won’t be used for anything ever again because they’re both gone, with significant residential development appearing in their place.
We’ve told you about the three projects on this block in the past, but figured it would be a fine time to take a tour of the block to show the current state of affairs. For reference, we started on 5th Street, near Green, and made our way around the block, turning left onto Fairmount, left onto 6th Street, and left again onto Green Street. Check it out!
Our first image shows the eastern side of the PRDC project, Liberty Square, while other angles of the project are visible in images 5-7. This project proves that there are only so many names in the universe for development projects in Philadelphia, as it has the same moniker as the 200 unit South Kensington project from Blackstone Development. The Northern Liberties version of Liberty Square is a totally different animal, as it will eventually entail a total of 43 town homes that stretch from 5th to 6th Street, with 11 homes on Green Street and a dozen more contained within the development. These homes are already lining up buyers, with list prices sneaking up to the mid-$700K range. Figure those prices will continue to climb as more units reach the finish line.
North of Liberty Square and visible in the 2nd and 3rd images is a project from US Construction which will, coincidentally, also result in 43 new units once construction is finished. This project differs from Liberty Square in several respects, mostly because these units will follow the typical US Construction model and be offered as rentals rather than being put up for sale. In addition, the project only calls for 36 town homes, mixing in one duplex and a mixed-use building with five apartments and a retail space. Hey, it’s got a great corner to work with, it would be a shame to not include some commercial element.
Image number four shows you eight town homes that are already built, sold, and occupied. The NL8 project wrapped up just a couple years back and was the first indication that things were changing on this block. These homes sold in the high-$500K to low-$600K range, which also illustrates the pace at which prices are climbing in the neighborhood in a very short period of time. It’s a little odd to close with the project that started before the others, but it’s also a different perspective to see how the approach of the second wave of developers has changed, compared to the first ones in.