One of our favorite pastimes is to wander the streets, ducking into alleys and narrow lanes to see what we can see. When walking along Chestnut St. in Old City the other day, we glanced down the narrow Bank Ln., where a tall, yellow presence caught our attention.

Looking north from Chestnut up Bank St., with something yellow peeking over the rooftops

We found ourselves drawn toward 20-22 Bank St., at the somewhat hidden intersection of Bank St. & Elbow Ln., where a mobile crane hovered high above our head. We actually brought you to this very spot almost five years ago, when we saw some dirt moving on a former surface parking lot tucked behind the Old City Beer Garden that fronts Market. Since then, the site has been completely stagnant, likely for reasons pandemic/financing related. But that crane was not just there for fun, as the site was seeing a steel install when we made our way over to check out the action.

The view at Bank & Elbow back in 2019
The view today, with steel finally above ground
Another look from 2019, which was the prevailing view until just days ago
The crane and steel beams portend the future

What’s coming to this former surface lot, you ask? A six-story, five-unit condo building from Abitare Design Studio. This multi-family building will also include four ground-level parking spaces, with the penthouse featuring a mezzanine that includes a double-height living space, along with a private roof deck area. The rendering shows off a contemporary take on the classic Old City architectural language, with ground-level masonry below brick that rises to the upper floors, complemented by large, black bay windows. Zoning documents indicate a recessed entry along Elbow Ln. lined by balconies above, with curb cuts and garages along both Elbow and Bank.

A rendering shows the building from Bank St.
A detailed look at the narrower facades
The future view along Elbow Ln.
A site plan shows the multiple curb cuts and the recessed entry along Elbow Ln.

While this isn’t a project that most people will stumble across as they make their way through Old City, we are thrilled to see movement here. Every time a former surface lot makes a turn to residential, we get a little extra pep in our step. We’d imagine that these units – which will likely be in the two/three-bedroom range due to the ~1,700 sqft per floor – will fetch a rather hefty price due to the prime location, quiet street, and in-unit parking (for most of the units, at least). And with all of the other momentum that we’ve seen in Old City as of late, we’re glad that this stalled project is finally taking real steps forward.