Old City is undoubtedly one of our favorite neighborhoods in the city, with its scale and charm making it such a desirable place to live and visit. One of our most beloved streets is Quarry St., a Belgian block road that sits between Front St. and 3rd St., almost hidden as it cuts its east-west mid-block path. However, the parking lot that’s part of 151 N. 3rd St. is one of our least favorite stretches of this historic street.

Looking NW along Quarry St., at the parking lot for 151 N. 3rd St.

But, will this parking lot remain this way for much longer? Perhaps not, as this property recently traded hands in July, and we’ve been hearing whisperings of something happening here for a while. Let’s take a step back first and get our bearings straight: This Quarry-facing property is actually the parking lot for Phil Kramer Photo and the historically protected building at 151 N. 3rd St., which houses Blokes Barbershop on its first floor.

An aerial of the block shows the oddly shaped property
A closer look at the parking lot and Phil Kramer Photo
The historically protected building around the corner, also a part of the property

Now, onto the speculation! We had heard next to nothing as far as details about this project, but a recent Instagram post from Design Pro Development caught our eye. Preliminary designs for a 12-unit condo building with parking were pitched, with slight variations of the brick-heavy facade offered up for feedback. But when looking at the context clues within the renderings, including a slightly stepped building to the west and the presence of bollards with hanging chains, we couldn’t help but put two and two together. Let’s check out the designs before we continue our real estate forensics exercise.

The first of three design approaches, this one the most modern
Option 2 keeps the color scheme but tones down the modernity
The final option, with brick reaching its apex

Is this perhaps a bit of a stretch? Maybe, but those context clues paired with the zoning for the property (CMX-3, which would allow for a project of this scale) and the paucity of open spaces in Old City for a project of this size makes us relatively confident that we will see something happen here. And we are all for it, as the parking lot provides almost nothing to the surrounding community, and adding even more density to the neighborhood is A-OK in our book. As this falls in a historic district as part of a historic property, we’d imagine we’ll see some more details before this project inevitably makes its way toward approval from the Historical Commission.

If this does move forward in this location, it would join another project that was recently reviewed by the Historical Commission just steps away. Formerly the home of La Locanda Del Ghiottone, the property at 130 N. 3rd St. also has plans for a residential future. Zoubek Properties teamed with Gnome Architects, with a design for a five-story, mixed-use building for the corner of 3rd & Cherry. When we stopped by, there was no sign of action yet, save for some permits in the window.

The corner of 3rd & Cherry as it looks today
A look at the most recent plans for 130 N. 3rd, adding four additional units

Will we see these projects rise in tandem once approvals are in place? Will we see one happen as the other waits? Will neither happen? Were we completely wrong about the location, and all of this is a moot point? We couldn’t tell you, but we do know that Old City is getting increasingly tall and dense almost everywhere we look.