Clarity For a Long Awaited Project at 2nd & Girard

For Northern Liberties residents, the large vacant lot just south of 2nd & Girard has surely been a source of frustration for many years. And those that aren’t annoyed by the vacant lot have surely at least experienced some aggravation from the blighted building right at the corner. For many people, especially those traveling by car, this intersection is the gateway to Northern Liberties. And not to put too fine a point on it, but nobody likes a steaming turd on their doorstep.

View from Germantown Ave.

We’ve checked in on this property several times over the years, most recently a few months back when we shared the good news that redevelopment was finally on the horizon. At the time, we told you that new developers had purchased the property, but we didn’t know who. We knew that Harman Deutsch would be doing the architecture for the project, but we didn’t know what it would look like. And we knew that the project would entail a large retail space, a few dozen apartments, and some parking, but we didn’t know anything about the layout on the site. Fortunately, the project is going to Civic Design Review next month, and all of our questions have now been answered.

Project site plan

You can see in the site plan above that the thrust of the project will occur on the corner of 2nd & Girard, as you might have expected. That building will rise six stories, and will include 44 apartments and a 7,500 sqft retail space. In addition, there will be 28 parking spaces under ground and another 9 spots above ground, for use by the retail tenant. To the south will be a collection of smaller buildings, with frontage on Germantown Avenue. The large blue building will include 13 apartments, and the rest of the buildings will be duplexes, with the exception of the triangular building on 2nd Street, which will be a single family home.

Rendering at 2nd & Girard
Rendering, looking up 2nd Street
Rendering on Germantown Ave.

The images above give you a pretty good idea of the architecture for the project. Given that CDR is still to come, it’s possible the project will undergo some minor aesthetic changes, but don’t forget that CDR is non-binding so the developer could simply refuse to accept any and all recommendations. Oh, by the way, Streamline is the developer for the project, and they certainly have the experience to pull it off. We generally think of Streamline as a developer that builds to sell, but in this case, at least for the apartment building, we’re expecting rental units. The duplex units and the home seem like good candidates to offer up for sale, but even if every unit ends up as a rental we’d be hard pressed to describe this project as anything but a huge step up from the status quo. Even if the neighborhood doesn’t agree, it’s a by-right project so it’s extremely likely to be moving forward no matter what.