Every few months in Northern Liberties, it seems another former industrial building is being demolished. In place of these former warehouses and factories, new single-family homes, rental units, and sometimes mixed-use projects are arriving.

Developers that want to build ten new single-family homes at 600 N. 4th St., where now stands a particularly bland looking garage, appeared last month before the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association zoning committee. But they’ll need to come back with a project that runs more alongside zoning code standards before the NLNA will support the project.

This building would go

That means lowering the height and likely reducing the number of units to nine or eight, to make for a better fit at the site, according to Larry Freedman, NLNA zoning chair. This is a constant refrain the NLNA has voiced to developers that want to build in Northern Liberties. While the NLNA wants some density, they prefer it not to be at the cost of jam packing lots. They want that density spread out across the neighborhood, so to speak.

An adaptive reuse in the works nearby

As we mentioned earlier, there's been a lot of development happening in Northern Liberties and one block north along the 400 block of Fairmount Avenue is an excellent example. That's where there are plans to convert an old warehouse into 48 new apartment units with ground-floor retail, as well as build 25 new homes. This proposal was first presented in January and will be coming back to the community this month, making for another example of how neighborhood involvement contributes to influence design work and adaptive reuse projects in this neighborhood. And it will take some more developer-neighborhood cooperation in order for the project at 600 N. 4th St. to coalesce into its final form.