Queen Village is definitely an archetypal neighborhood when it comes to Philly’s famous rowhome charm. The narrow streets, ample tree cover, and low-rise character that are prevalent throughout this area serve as a sort of transition between Center City and South Philly. If you’ve read this blog before, you know we stand proudly on our “highest-and-best use” stump, so forgive our slightly mixed emotions as we cover two projects where the neighborhood context has trumped maximizing density.

We begin at the northeast corner of 2nd & Christian where a small, low-rise strip mall anchored by a 7-11 once stood. We checked in on this project last July, when plans thankfully changed from a three-story to a four-story building. This mixed used project designed by Harmon Deutsch Ohler will bring 42 units to this corner, along with ground floor commercial space. Renderings currently show a 7-11 returning to the fold, but rumors have been swirling about a new tenant, so stay tuned for more. Currently, the site has been cleared, and the waiting game has begun in terms of when construction will start.

Current view shows that demo is completed
Site cleared but no other signs of action as of yet
What's coming to the corner, perhaps without the 7-11
View of the site from our visit last summer

Just a block away at the southwest corner of 3rd & Christian, a similar project is a bit further along. The long vacant lot at this corner will soon no longer be vacant, as a three-story project from Ambit Architecture is rising on site. When we checked in last June, a fence was still surrounding the lot as it awaited its start. After a few changes in unit and parking count due to neighborhood push-back, look for 30 units to go along with 11 below grade parking spots. Foundations are poured and we’d expect to see this going vertical soon. Construction has been ongoing for awhile now, we have to think they’ll be framing soon. While a handsome and modern design, we can’t help but feel bummed that only three floors will go up on a site that could certainly handle more.

Current view shows work underway
Another view of the site shows parking garage access on western end
Three good-looking stories will rise here
Three good-looking stories will rise here

All in all, 72 units will arrive on these quiet blocks of Queen Village in the next couple of years. So, while we lament not having some slightly more soaring corner buildings in this neck of the woods, adding this many people to an area that already feels completely developed is a positive step, in our book. We applaud how these projects bring high quality materials and design to an area with some terrific architecture and a ton of history. Let’s just hope we can get a bit more height for whatever is coming next to the area.