New Home Coming in Northern Liberties, Hidden Away

Two months ago, when we last visited New Market Street in Northern Liberties, we updated you on a couple of projects currently under construction. Since then, the three new homes under construction at the corner of New Market & Laurel have progressed some outside, and we imagine they've gotten quite a bit of work done inside in the meantime.

Recent shot

Next door, at 117 W Laurel St., the community voted to support plans for a new home designed by KJO Architecture at one of last month's Northern Liberties Neighbors Association zoning meetings. The ZBA approved the project last week. Last acquired in September 2013 for $95K, the parcel is zoned for industrial use even in the recent remapping associated with Phila2035, which sought to update zoning classifications and other details of neighborhood parcels that were long outdated.

“I was surprised when he called and I looked it up [to find it] was industrial,” said Larry Freedman, NLNA zoning chair.

Current view

Project rendering

The home will rise just half a block from Jerry's Bar, a once pasty looking structure we wrote about in 2012 when it was being renovated. Now shiny and new, the bar almost looks out of place here and might seem more natural over on 2nd Street. Still, we'd imagine that neighbors new and old appreciate the easy access to the new and improved Jerry's. We know we'd be there all the time if we lived in the nearby.

This area is only a couple of blocks and a walk under I-95 away from Front & Poplar, where consistent building the past two years has transformed a formerly bare block into an entirely residential area. But because it's just beyond the highway and tough to access by car, this block of Laurel Street somehow seems farther away. Regardless, it's also close to a quality open space at Liberty Lands at 3rd & Poplar, which is in the process of being rejuvenated, and right next to that is the Piazza. So sure, the parcel is zoned for industry. But like so many of its mates in the neighborhood, it's going residential.