The 400 block of Fairmount Avenue is poised for improvements as two separate projects seek to bring new life, both residential and retail to the area. Developers want to build four triplexes on a surface parking lot in the middle of the block. Nearby, other entrepreneurs will bring a nail salon to a vacant corner retail spot at the corner of 5th & Fairmount.

Future triplexes

Developers want to turn the parking lot at 414-18 Fairmount Ave. into four triplexes with twelve parking spaces to match the number of units. But they will have to reappear before the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association with revised plans that lower the height to the required 38' and reduce the bed counts, as if you haven’t heard this song before.

“There was a lot of dead room,” said Larry Freedman, NLNA zoning chair, about the project design. According to Freedman, many of the units were three bedrooms and the total number of beds was around 32, which the NLNA thought was too many. The community group asked the developers to lower the bed count to around 24 because when the parcel is rezoned under remapping it will be for single family homes, and the NLNA zoning committee is attempting to shape the project toward that larger long-term vision, Freedman explained.

Peek at the warehouse next door

Next door to the proposed project is a large and rough-looking warehouse that’s still in use by the Transatlantic Company. In the past, we’ve speculated about whether this building could be a candidate for adaptive reuse. On the other side of the warehouse are three homes that recently went up and appear to be just about finished.

Another project down the block

Nearby, there’s a large amount of reinvestment happening on Fairmount Avenue and beyond. Nine homes from a Tower Investments offshoot company are on the way at a former warehouse at 6th & Fairmount. To the north at 5th & Poplar, another warehouse was razed to make way for Pressman Commons, an old theater might be demolished to make way for new residential units, and there are two other new projects right near that intersection. Plus, a string of new homes were finished in the past two years over at 6th & Poplar. The addition of twelve more units to the 400 block of Fairmount should fit right in with everything else going on nearby.