It’s undeniable that Northern Liberties has improved by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Vacant land has disappeared. Blighted buildings have been reborn. And while opinions are somewhat mixed on the newfangled, Disney-esque developments like Liberties Walk and the Piazza, the residents and businesses that have been drawn to the neighborhood as a result have made it a more worthwhile place to live (except maybe on Saturday nights).
One area in the neighborhood that’s remained curiously behind the curve has been 2nd Street. Sure, numerous businesses have opened here in the last several years, but so much vacancy and blight remains. And there’s still a surprising chunk of vacant land to be found on this stretch as well. Slowly though, 2nd Street has improved, with new buildings filling in vacant land and replacing vacant storefronts. Take, for example, the area south of the Piazza, across from Tendenza, where two newish buildings stand and another one is on the way.
Earlier this year, a developer purchased the lot pictured above for $350K. Over a year ago, they presented a new project for 980 N 2nd St. to NLNA. After getting some feedback from the neighborhood group, we believe the project was whittled down somewhat from five apartments to three, with a commercial space on the first floor. Nice to see that mixed-use is being preserved on 2nd Street, and so close to the commercial hub of the Piazza.
While the going might be slower than we’d like, it’s still good to see progress coming to 2nd Street. We suspect that in a couple of years, with a few more projects like this emerging, the narrative of this stretch trailing the neighborhood in terms of development will be closed, and we’ll instead be talking about some other curiosity in some other neighborhood. Until then, we’ll be sure to keep our eyes peeled for anything else new and exciting coming to 2nd Street.