Old City is not usually considered a development hotbed like other areas of the city such as Fishtown, Brewerytown, South Kensington, Germantown, University City… and the list goes on and on. However, three different multi-family proposals on the 200 block of Vine St. are providing plenty of action in what we’d consider to be the sleepier northern side of the neighborhood. Let’s start off with 214-20 Vine St., where a 29-unit apartment building replacing a surface parking lot looks like it just finished exterior framing. The plans for this building have shifted over the years, as the original moody and modern proposal we covered in 2020 was rejected by the Historical Commission. We have scant details save for a zoning elevation drawing and an on-site rendering, so why don’t we check out the current progress for this building by Moto Designshop instead.

Previous version of 214-20 Vine St., which was unfortunately rejected by the Historical Commission
Elevation drawing from zoning document shows a rough idea of what to expect
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On-site rendering of 214-20 Vine St.
216 Vine St. on the left, looking south down N. American St.
Another view of 216 Vine St.

Immediately across the street at 207-13 Vine St., we also have some major updates. Previously the home to a non-contributing building, a lovely contributing townhouse and a surface parking lot, this lot also has a drastically different future. As we covered about a year ago, plans for this site include an apartment building on the west side of the site with 46 units, a conversion of the existing building into a triplex, and two additional stacked townhomes on the east side. Demolition has recently wrapped and you can see things are ready to move. With building permits in hand for this Canno Architecture-designed structure, we expect to see more progress shortly.

207-13 Vine has been completely demolished except for contributing rowhouse which will remain
Rendering of 207-13 Vine St., looking northeast from Vine
View of 207-13 Vine St., looking south from Wood St.
Back of 207-13 Vine St. from Wood St.
Close-up of 209 Vine which will be rehabbed as part of the project, with new townhomes to the east

Jumping back across the street to 230 Vine St., former home to the Painted Bride, we can also provide an update since we last checked in back in December 2020. Back then we reported that an overbuild was in the works, which would add 70 units and a retail space to the famous Isaiah Zagar-designed mural. This was a huge victory, as there was worry that the building would be demolished to make way for 16 condo units. While there were no signs of construction when we visited the site, early this month the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the building has at last been sold to Atrium Design Group, who is serving as developer and architect for the project. We don’t expect to see any movement in the immediate future as the Zoning Board’s decision to move forward is being appealed in court, with a June date scheduled for the hearing. Let’s check out the current site and see what’s planned below.

Current view of the Painted Bride, sporting a moody black veil
A rendering of what is to come for the Painted Bride...yes please
Painted Bride again, looking east down Vine St.
Rendering of the street level of the future Painted Bride, looking southeast on Vine

All in all, nearly 150 units will eventually be coming just to this one block. This will obviously be a major shift for this section of Old City, where foot traffic can sometimes be light as the neighborhood approaches the auto-centric Callowhill Street to the north. Increased density bringing more people to this already lively neighborhood is certainly not a bad thing in our eyes, as the future residents will further support the north end of the Old City commercial corridor. Transitioning some underused properties toward greater height and density ain’t bad either.