There are so many projects currently in motion along Delaware Ave. from the Ben Franklin Bridge to Penn Treaty Park and beyond, we understand if one has a hard time keeping track. In fact, it has been over two years since we last checked in on 700-30 N. Delaware Ave. when we had news of a proposal that would bring nearly 500 apartments to the intersection of N. Delaware Ave. & Fairmount Ave., which had long been used as a bus depot. As we said at the time, a bus parking lot was far from the highest and best use for this parcel, especially given how it conflicted with the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. We are thrilled to report though, that the buses are gone at last, and things are starting to make headway for this newest addition to the development party.

Future commercial-lined pedestrian plaza between the two buildings
How the site looked at our last visit in 2020

When exploring the other day, something caught our eye on site: some heavy machinery. We couldn’t help ourselves but to check things out a bit more and discovered that digging had already begun on the currently bus-less lot. When we dug a little deeper (get it?), we saw that demolition permits were issued in early May. Check out the first signs of progress below.

Don't worry, these homes along the Fairmount Ave. frontage aren't going anywhere
The empty lot behind the fence signaling something is happening
Low-rise garage won't be missed

Since our last update, the project has changed hands and is now under a new ownership group. We were at first worried that this meant the project was back to the drawing board, if not completely starting anew. However, new owners Saxum Real Estate state on their website that they are planning on developing the site according to previous specs. Expect a slightly reduced 466 units, with approximately 15K sqft of retail and amenities out the wazoo, all designed by JKRP Architects.

This development is being targeted towards a younger crowd and is aiming for that ever-appealing live/work/play sweet spot. While we’re not fond of the hundreds of parking spaces accessed via both Delaware Ave. and Front Street, we do love the cozy retail walkway which will bisect the property. We would have liked a little more activation along the major corridor, but with more and more projects coming online, there should still be plenty nearby.

Rendering of what's coming, looking northeast from Front & Fairmount
No doubt about it: heavy duty digging
View from Delaware Ave. shows how historic rowhomes will be incorporated into the project
View of plaza looking south from Brown St.

This project adds yet another mammoth number of units to those that are currently in progress. Between projects already under construction and this new entry, 2077 units (!!!) will be introduced between The Battery at Penn Treaty and Durst’s Vine St. tower. Expand those boundaries just a little further (we see you, Northbank) and include other proposals, and that number might be doubled. Considering all these projects together, it seems, at long, long last, that the eastern riverfront is finally getting the love and attention it’s been craving for all these years.