A one-off development on an alley-sized street in Passyunk Square is an example of how development is spreading in the neighborhood.

Developers with plans to transform a garage at 1203 S. Clarion St. into a three-story single family home received a vote of non-opposition from the Passyunk Square Civic Association earlier this month. This marks a fast turnaround for a property acquired in July. The developers plan to reuse the once graffiti-covered garage and renovate the exterior to a brick front, which is more in line with surrounding structures, according to Tina Geary of the PSCA zoning committee. An abutting neighbor will lose an illegal window fixed in what will become a party wall between the two homes, she added.

The garage

“I think most people view it as a positive change,” said Geary. “It’s just a garage now and it’s not linked [to the rest of the street.]

The rest of 1200 block of S. Clarion is residential. Two-story row-homes line the block’s eastern side, while three-story homes built in the last decade are on the west side of the street. The changes to the garage will bring improvement to this side of the block, though the project will not be without challenges. The garage is 19’ wide, which is a very desirable width for a new home. But the property only goes back 36’, meaning that the designers of the new home will need to employ some architectural deftness to make a space that’s functional for a homebuyer.

Rest of the block

As we said, this is one of many projects about to be or is now underway in this neighborhood. About a block away, there are plans to turn the former Jehovah’s Witness building on the 1200 block of Federal into 10 new apartments. Just one more block north, a former vacant lot/community garden on the corner of 12th & Ellsworth is now two single-family homes. Both of these properties were purchased in the past year. As we keep finding new projects in the neighborhood, it will be interesting to see where in Passyunk Square development continues to pop-up in the months to come.

–Lou Mancinelli