You don't necessarily think of Old City as a place where lots of new construction happens. With a name like Old City, new stuff is pretty much the opposite of what you'd expect. But lately, we've seen a noticeable uptick in new construction, in locations both prominent and hidden. Remember, just last week we told you about plans for 250 units in a big building next to the Ben Franklin Bridge. And today, we have news of a much smaller, harder to find project that's now under construction.

In the past

Construction ongoing

Have you ever tried to drive onto I-95 via Race Street, but somehow ended up still on Front Street? The corner of Front & Quarry is the first intersection you hit when this happens. And it's where a formerly beat-up vacant lot is currently under construction. When we passed by last week, it looked like an elevator tower was being built. Soon, a new five story building will rise here, designed by Harman Deutsch.

Quarry St. elevations

Front St. elevations

The building will contain six condo units of varying sizes. Each of the units will have a parking space on the first floor, accessible via individual garages. Not like the multiple curb cuts matter much on Quarry Street, where there's no parking anyway, but aesthetically it would have been a better touch to only have one garage door. We'd imagine it was entirely a space issue, as this is by no means a large lot. Speaking of aesthetics, what's with the first floor on Front Street having an almost entirely blank wall?

One thing we really appreciate about the project is that it's making no effort whatsoever to fit in with the historic fabric of the neighborhood. Too often, we see new construction offer faux-historic details which tend to come off as cheesy, in our estimation. By going for the contemporary look, whether you like the look of the building or not, the development fully embraces itself as a modern contribution to a historic neighborhood. To us, it's just a better approach. What do you think?