The 100 block of Ellsworth Street is not your standard South Philly block. In most areas in this part of town, the housing stock dates back at least a hundred years. For whatever reason though, only about a quarter of the homes on this block fit that description. The homes on the western side of the north side of the street date back between five and ten years. The homes on the eastern side of the south side were built back in 2012-13. And on the western side of the south side of the block, there’s a cinderblock fence that disguises several other lots that are still sitting empty.
The zoning notices in the photo above provide an indication that two of those lots should soon disappear. 130 and 134 Ellsworth St. will go to the ZBA later this month, with plans for four story homes with garages on the first floor. On another block, this might be a controversial project. This block though, already has sixteen garage front homes, and a whole bunch of four-story homes. So we don’t think that this project will ruffle any feathers. Then again, the zoning process is known to be a bit mercurial, so we can’t be totally sure.
Assuming these homes get approved and built, the block will be left with a three more vacant lots, by our count. All of those lots are used as huge rear yards for homes on Federal Street though, and we’re pretty sure one them even has an above ground pool. In other words, don’t look for those lots to get redeveloped any time soon. And that’s probably just as well for the near neighbors. Considering all the development that’s happened on this block over the last decade plus, we imagine the residents won’t complain about a little respite from construction noise. Well, after the last two homes get built, that is.