Ultra Skinny Building Appears in Old City

It's always interesting to us when we see examples of developers cramming construction into unexpected places. For example, we were super impressed when a triangle-shaped home appeared on a triangle-shaped lot on the 1700 block of Kater Street a couple of years ago. Another example of a tight squeeze is on display currently on Letitia Street, just south of Market.

In the past

If you'd previously walked by 9 Letitia St., development would have never crossed your mind. It's barely a step above an alley, with space for a car to park and a human to get out of that car, perhaps only on one side. So you can imagine our surprise when a reader sent in this photo:

Tight squeeze indeed

Over the last few months, a new structure has risen here, in a space that's not even fourteen feet wide. You can see, the car port has been narrowed further, with what looks like a walkway on the other side. Above are three apartments that are either accessible from the walkway next to the parking or from an already existing building Front Street. The same folks who own the building containing La Famiglia at 8 S. Front St. also own this property.

Though we're pointing out the surprising nature of this new construction and the nearly-impossible car access it provides, it's not to suggest that we are opposed to the idea of filling in this previously vacant space. On the contrary, we're believers in density, especially in downtown areas, and we'd guess that nearby businesses won't be crestfallen to have more customers in the neighborhood. One point that we should make is a question about the look of the new building. The original elevations drawings were much less contemporary in nature.

Original elevations drawing

Not for nothing, but we think the original design would have produced a much more interesting building. We wonder, what brought about the change?