It’s no secret that Northern Liberties and South Kensington are absolutely exploding with development. Even sizable projects can almost disappear in the maze of cranes and construction crews in the area, but we are happy to say that 342-54 W. Girard Ave. has been spotted by the Naked Philly development radar. We last stopped by here about two years ago, when the restaurant Trios was being demolished to make way for a 50-unit, mixed-use project.

From our last visit two years ago, the last days of Trios
A rendering of what was planned

There has been plenty of progress since our last visit, as this project from Hightop Development is just about wrapped. Called The Dally, this contemporary mixed-use project will bring ~2,500 sqft of retail space to the ground floor, with the expected slate of residential amenities to round out the program. It didn’t appear that any retail was imminent when we stopped by, but it seems as if leases are already open for the units above. Let’s check out the current look of the site.

A look at the 4th Street facade
Paneling and off-set windows make up the Girard Ave. facade
Glazing-heavy storefronts will activate the corner in the future
A closer look at the materials of the facade

The design from CosciaMoos mixes dark brick with what we’d guess are hardi panels. The rendering looks like it called for board and batten siding, but the actual building has horizontal panels making up the bulk of the facade. This feels like a step up, though we confess we wish for a bit more brick and a bit less hardi. The interiors and rooftop look great, as one might expect at this desirable location.

A rendering shows the modern and bright units
A furniture and pergola for these (literally) impossibly gorgeous views

While we may not swoon at this structure from every angle, this is most definitely a big step up from a one-story restaurant and parking lot. The property sits just blocks away from the MFL, and even closer to that boatload of other development we alluded to earlier. And if things ever get going on the 166-unit proposal next door, this stretch of Girard could be even busier still in the future. And we’re crossing our fingers we’ll still see some movement here, as zoning and building permits were issued shortly after our last visit almost exactly two years ago.

Could we see this neighbor next door?

We are loving all of the action along this major transit corridor, as density is exactly what the doctor/urbanist ordered for this trolley-adjacent project. And all of this density could be even greater if such a large chunk of Girard Ave. wasn’t zoned CMX-2, which severely limits what can go up here, not to mention the overlay which limits height for properties with more permissive zoning. Even in spite of this, Girard is quickly becoming one of the most bustling streets anywhere in town.