For years, we knew what Old City was about. First Friday. Our city's history. Attractive residential conversions of former factories. Great restaurants. The occasional confounding blighted property in the middle of a block. Restaurant equipment. Bros behaving badly on weekends.

New mansions haven't been part of the equation in Old City for hundreds of years. But all of a sudden, it's been raining big and expensive homes in this neighborhood. We've seen construction get moving on four mega-homes on Walnut Street, seven mansions on Church Street, and three biggies near 3rd & Arch. All of these projects have large homes, high price tags, and designs that make them distinct from the historic fabric of the neighborhood. This seems wise, because fake historic generally looks like crap.

You'd think fourteen pricey new construction homes might be the limit for the neighborhood at the moment, but you'd be sorely mistaken. Soon, eight new homes will get moving at 230 Race St., a project called Bread Street Estates.

Surface lot on the outs

Project rendering

According to the project website, the Revolution Development Group is behind the project. We've mentioned them before, as the developers renovating a mixed-use building on the 1500 block of Frankford Avenue. The project on Race Street is clearly a different animal. Each of the eight homes will rise four stories, with one of two car parking downstairs and three full floors of living space above and a finished basement below. Ambit Architecture did the design work.

If our math is any good, that's twenty-two new high-end homes coming online in this neighborhood in a rather short time period. And several surface parking lots taken out of the equation in the process, which is always good by us. Will demand hold up for so many luxury homes in the same neighborhood? We're optimisitic, at least as long as interest rates remain low and people are able to push down monthly payments. If that's the case, the surface parking lot directly across the street could very well be the next mansion launching pad.

Across the street, another opportunity