Marshall Street Seeing New Homes Rise

Marshall Street between Poplar and Girard was once a bustling commercial corridor, full of shops and pushcarts like the Italian Market. Philaplace gives a lovely telling of the history of this stretch, and explains that a combination of white flight and a redevelopment plan from the 1950s that never came to fruition ultimately sunk most of the Marshall Street businesses. The street never really recovered and it looks pretty bad today. Many of the buildings remaining on the block appear to have residential tenants, but the storefronts are mostly shuttered. And there's not shortage of vacant lots either.

Some older buildings on Marshall Street

But there's something funny happening on the 900 block of Marshall Street. New homes are getting built. Two have risen to date, at 922 and 936 N. Marshall St., one of which has already sold. 936 N. Marshall St. is currently on the market for $550K.

New home under construction

Another new home

As you can see, these homes are three stories high and have parking out front. The homes have 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and 3,000 sqft of living space. But the homes pictured above aren't the end of the development plans for this block! According to the listings, five more homes will eventually come, making this a seven home development. Oddly, the developers are taking the homes to the ZBA one at a time instead of all at once. Can anyone think of why that would be the way to go?

At first blush, it may seem very risky to build these homes, considering the rough condition of the rest of the block. But if you zoom out your mental Google Maps just a tiny bit, this project starts to make much more sense. Apparently, the guys building this project are the same crew that built eight homes at 6th & Poplar. The last home in the development (or the first, more accurately), is at the corner of Marshall & Poplar.

The project on Marshall Street is just another symptom of the expanding boundaries of Northern Liberties development, as builders continually look for opportunities that others may have missed. If this project proves successful, we might see additional change on this street, though we're doubtful that it will ever return to its former glory. Then again, if the nearby stretch of Girard ever turns around, maybe it isn't totally out of the question.