Demolition Changes Everything at 20th & Wharton

Last week's community meeting about plans for forty-six homes at 2012 Wharton Street went pretty much as you would have expected. Roughly sixty people showed up, a representative from JKRP Architects presented the project, people from the crowd asked questions about affordability, other people aggressively asked about why it can't be a commercial project, and one person asked about the project's design. Per the Philadelphia Tribune, the community voted against the project 64-23, even though we're fairly certain those totals reflect some people in the room voting multiple times.

The Planning Commission supported the project this week, resulting in accusations of racism from two people opposing the project. It will go to the ZBA next month and we'll see what happens. But in the meantime, the developers are proceeding with site work, hopeful that they'll receive the necessary approvals. Earlier this week, they demolished the warehouse that's stood here for a hundred years and the change on the street is incredible.

Old view of the warehouse

No more warehouse

Former view on Wharton Street, looking east

Current view shows no warehouses and two new homes

In the past, view at 20th & Wharton

Current view at 20th & Wharton

As we told you previously, a plan for twenty-two homes was approved for the property at the corner of 20th & Wharton, and construction is expected to begin in March. Construction obviously won't happen next door until the project hopefully gets approved from the ZBA and goes through a few months of additional permitting. If things go smoothly, construction could begin here in the late summer or early fall. With the two warehouses now gone, you can truly appreciate how they've blocked an eastern section of the neighborhood from the commercial corridor. With the addition of sixty-eight new homes between the two projects, things should become much more exciting on Point Breeze Avenue. For now, we suggest making a trip to this corner to witness the changed streetscape in person.

Disclosure: OCF Realty, parent company of Naked Philly, is the developer for 2010 Wharton Street and the broker for 2012 Wharton Street.