Development Opportunity on Dickinson Street?

A reader reached out to us about half a year ago, pointing out an interesting property at 126 Dickinson St. that was, at the time, listed for sale. Six months later, the property is still available. Still, the fact that it's a huge parcel in Pennsport gives us an indication that somebody will eventually purchase the property and redevelop it. Perhaps you'd be interested?

View of the property from the listing

The large property is mostly vacant, with a two-story building being the only structure on the lot. The photo shows the extent of the property's frontage on Dickinson Street, but it extends far back and bends around in an L-shape, covering almost 12K sqft. Here, take a look at this site plan to get a better idea of what we mean:

Site plan shows challenging layout

There's 58' of frontage on Dickinson Street, and the rest of the property, while sizable, is land locked. No matter the project, we're pretty sure a zoning variance would be required because the property is oddly zoned for single-family use.

Trying to fit within that concept, let's think about a townhome development, like so many we've seen in this neighborhood. We could probably find a way to jam eight homes into this property, with three on Dickinson Street, three in the turned section of the property, and two more someplace else. But we'd think that the layout of the development could get funny as we try to allow for drive-aisle access for all the units. Then again, if the development next door would share its drive-aisle, it could make things easier. So perhaps this would be feasible but given the $1.625M asking price we're not sure it would be financially viable.

Looking east toward the newer homes next door

Another option could be an apartment building. If the property were zoned for multi-family use, a developer could build 25 units by right, but we're not even sure that's enough units to make the purchase price workable. We're thinking that somewhere around 40 units could be needed, but good luck getting the community to agree to that many apartments. Oh, and ground floor parking would surely be non-negotiable.

Like we said, this parcel has some real potential, especially considering all the residential projects we've seen go up in the neighborhood in the last several years. If someone could just figure out the right project for the site and perhaps find a way to reduce the price by a few hundred thousand dollars, we could see something happen here in the near future. Or else everyone will be similarly stumped, and the status quo will continue.