If you’ve visited Columbus Square Park at any point in the last year, you might have noticed some serious construction activity on the northwest corner of 13th & Reed. Perhaps you remember, this address was previously the site of a two story warehouse which was used as an auto garage, storage for mummers paraphernalia, and the home base of Theatre Exile. Though it was plenty functional, the building was all sorts of ugly. So it was no loss when it got torn down.

Exile Old
In the past

A little over a year ago, we told you that the owners of this property were looking for a variance to build a 23-unit apartment building with retail on the first floor and a new space for the theatre company in the basement. To be clear, the property is zoned CMX-2 and the developers could have built the mixed-use building by right, and they needed the variance to allow for the theatre in the basement. We noted that the community wasn’t too thrilled about the project, but deemed the proposal to be superior to the by-right possibilities, and therefore lent their support. We even got a rendering, showing a building with a definitively industrial flair.

Exile Render

We praised the design at the time, pointing out the unusual example of something new actually possessing more character than an old demolished building. We were wary though, and weren’t willing to pass final judgement until construction actually got to a point where we could get a sense of the materials being used. Checking in today, we are not disappointed.

Looking up 13th Street
View on Reed
Closer look at facade

Sure, the building still has a ways to go, but we really like what we see so far. Check out the brick work. And ooh those windows. If you didn’t know better, you might think that this building is an adaptive reuse, not a brand new structure. While it’s still a work in progress, we can at least say that the reality looks better than the rendering, for a change, and we’re feeling pretty confident that this will remain the case as construction moves toward completion.