Three Homes For Narrow Intersection in Northern Liberties

Meandering around Northern Liberties last week, we got caught behind a trash truck and took a turn onto the narrow Saint John Neumann Way to make our way around. You may not be familiar with this street, as it’s as narrow as its name is cumbersome. It runs southwest, starting at 3rd Street and ending forever at Poplar Street. In Center City, a street like this would seem like quite an oddity, but in this part of town it’s kinda par for the course.

Saint John Neumann Way, on the map

As we made this detour, we were reminded that we once wrote a story about a project on this little street, a seven home development from Callahan Ward. When we last visited the property in 2013, the northeast corner of Leithgow & Saint John Neumann was sitting vacant and was being used for parking. It’s a very different scene today, and the project looks terrific. The homes sold a couple years back in the mid-$600K range, and now one is back on the market for $729K, just showing how quickly prices are rising in this neighborhood.

Awesome homes across the street

Across the street, the northwest corner is currently a construction zone. It seems that Callahan Ward had so much fun building the seven homes on the northeast corner, they’re now turning to the northwest corner for their next act. This property, let’s call it 938 N. Leithgow St., was previously home to a little one story building and some vacant lots. Things have changed.

In the past
Current view

The challenge with this property is that it’s incredibly shallow, going back a mere 35′. As such, the developers came before NLNA last year, surely seeking variances for open area. They have approvals for three homes, each of which will measure 16’8″ (great) by 28’6″ (much less great). A reminder, 16’x40′ are the ideal dimensions for a new home. Just as architects can get creative with skinny homes, architects can similarly make magic happen with shallow homes. Somehow, each of these homes will have 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms and we imagine they’ll be very livable. At least one person agrees with that assertion, as one of the homes is already under agreement at a list price of $469K. With construction just getting started, we have to think the prices will only rise from there.

Here’s a look at some renderings of the project, so you know what to expect. As usual, the developer hired ISA to do the architecture work.

Project rendering
Rendering from above

Yeah, that looks pretty sweet. And given the track record of this developer, both across the street and from several other projects, it’s quite possible the finished product will be even better than the images.