Checking Out Capital Flats, Part Deux

A new addition has appeared on Laurel Street in Northern Liberties, representing the second phase of a project that began over a decade ago. According to a story in Arch Daily, Capital Meats was located at 144-158 W. Laurel St. for about 80 years, closing in 1989. After the business closed, the buildings quickly fell into disrepair, looking absolutely terrible by 1999, when folks from Onion Flats took their first tour. They purchased the property, demolishing the structure at the corner of Hancock & Laurel and converting the remaining building into 8 units, dubbed Capital Flats. This project was finished in 2002 and looked pretty much the same until last year.

Way back in the day

Sometime last year

If you pass by this property today, you'll see that things are looking rather different. In pace of the small green space at the corner and a fenced-in parking lot, a new building has appeared. This structure, also from Onion Flats, will eventually house 25 apartment units and include 13 parking spots. They're calling this project Capital Flats II, continuing the thread of history back to the business that made its home here for so many years. The project will use the passive house standard and will have solar panels atop its green roof. Aside from some details about the location of the pilot houses and the solar panels, this project is happening by-right thanks to the green roof density bonus. Check out the progress:

View of the project

View from behind shows the parking area

Next door, the original Capital Flats project

The building has a rather massive feel to it, and we because of the narrow street we struggled to get the entire structure inside the frame of one image. Though the building will have a very solid feel to it, we suspect that it will have some architectural personality, like just about every other Onion Flats project. Speaking of architecture, one of our favorite projects sits just across the street from this one and also happens to have been built by Onion Flats. They built Thin Flats back in 2009 and at the time these duplexes stood out as futuristic buildings, unlike anything else we'd ever seen in Philadelphia.

Thin Flats across the street

A bunch of time has passed since these were built, and we still haven't seen anything like them yet. What do you think? Would you want to live in such an unusual looking building? Or do you prefer a more standard Philadelphia rowhome?