The northern reaches of Old City have undergone quite a change over the last decade. At 244 N. 2nd St., home to Snyderman’s Gulf Station when we last visited this specific site way back in 2014, is a prime example of this evolution. Rowhomes, Sonders, and apartments are popping up all over the place, with the streetscape changing dramatically as our TikTok video from this very block demonstrates (thanks in advance for the follow!). This gas station was the last holdout along this stretch, taking up the entirety of the block bounded by New Street to the south, Vine Street to the north, 2nd Street to the east and the teeny-tiny Philip Street to the west.

Looking NW at 244 N. 2nd St. in the past, formerly Snyderman's

As you have likely guessed by now, this property looks dramatically different today. And that’s because an affiliate of our very own parent company OCF Realty is developing the Philip Street Townhomes, featuring eleven new-construction homes that have continued the residential turn on the block. Those homes, designed by Landmark Architectural Design, are progressing nicely, with their brick and cast stone facades forming a warm and welcoming addition to the northern edge of Old City.

A rendering of the Philip Street Townhomes from the same spot
Looking north at the Philip Street Townhomes today

We had the pleasure of touring one of these under-construction units the other day. All the units will offer three-bedrooms, six total bathrooms, a full basement, two-car parking, and some pretty sweet roof deck views. Let’s tag along with the team as we make our way in.

Another view of the progress from 2nd & Vine
A gaggle of OCF Realtors gathering as we look down 2nd St.
A look inside, with room for a few dozen of your closest friends

Construction on the interiors is still in a work in progress, but the renderings do a great job of showcasing the classic-yet-modern approach the design team is taking here. A muted array of natural materials is punctuated by rich turquoise pops, creating an airy and elegant feel throughout.

A rendering shows off the open floor plan
A closer look at the chef's kitchen, complete with Bosch appliances
We could get used to a bathroom like this
The roof deck offers classic Old City views in all directions

While we may be somewhat biased, we are really liking the design and approach here. The red brick – which wraps around the northern, eastern, and southern facades – works nicely with the stonework, complementing the historic architecture close by. The layout is also clever, with a drive aisle offering parking access for most of the homes and Vine Street garage access for the remaining two. The extra-wide width of the homes and tall ceilings make the interior spaces feel huge, offering plenty of space at a $1.995 million price tag. With all of the fun of Old City just to the south and a much brighter future just to the north, we’d imagine that folks will be jumping at the opportunity to be a part of this wildly different part of the neighborhood – and grab a piece of a ten-year tax abatement.

Speaking of “wildly different,” this very property could have looked wildly different if a larger proposal came to be several years back. Architects Onion Flats designed a 17-story, 200+ unit tower which would have risen where these townhouses (and another adjacent building) now stand. This proposal far exceeds the height limits for the neighborhood (thanks to zoning restrictions!), but it is certainly fascinating to wistfully consider as a thought experiment.

An aerial looking south of the 209-unit, mixed-use proposal
Vertical parks and a roof of solar panels would perhaps have had neighbors in a huff

Nevertheless, we’re pretty thrilled with what’s here today, as homes for people makes more sense for such an appealing area than a place to gas up your vehicle. Slowly but surely, block by block, the connection between Old City and Northern Liberties is getting stronger and more welcoming. And for those who live in these new homes, they’ll have an awesome front-row view of it all.

Disclosure: An affiliate of OCF Realty is the developer for the 244 N. 2nd St. project. As you might suspect from the logo at the top of this page, OCF Realty is the parent company of Naked Philly.