There’s a half dozen homes on the north side of the 500 block of Jefferson Street which were completed last fall, and you can be forgiven for mistaking them for Philadelphia’s latest City Target location. While this shade of red isn’t necessarily our taste, the best thing about architecture is that different designs speak to different people, and it’s clear that the red works for some people, as folks have come forward and plunked down like $450K per home for these units.

Corner of Jefferson & Randolph

When we last checked in on this project over a year ago, the homes were still under construction and didn’t have nearly as much personality as they have today. Also at that time, we pointed out that there was a huge vacant lot at 1500 N. Randolph St., immediately to the north of the homes, which seemed ripe for redevelopment. Seems that was incredibly obvious to everyone, as we now know that the Streamline Group is looking to build a project here- and thanks to the magic of their Civic Design Review application, we have all the pertinent details.

Looking up Randolph St.

In short, the project calls for 49 units and 16 open air parking spots. The layout of the development will entail eight 6-unit buildings with a 7-unit building partially spanning the entrance to the drive-aisle. This is not the approach we would have necessarily expected, as a single apartment building feels like a more intuitive approach for the site. But Streamline has several other projects currently in the queue that take a similar approach, so they’ve surely thought this one through. Harman Deutsch did the design work for the project, and a site plan and renderings follow below:

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Project site plan
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Project rendering
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Additional renderings

We aren’t sure whether the units will be offered as condos or rentals, but either approach would seem like a feasible choice at this location. Not far from here, three major rental projects (Liberty Square, Dwell Philadelphia, Umbrella Building) are in varying stages of construction, indicating that at least three other developers are bullish on rentals in South Kensington. Just up the block, the same developers are building a 46-unit condo project at 6th & Montgomery, so it’s clear that Streamline believes that condos work in this area. Interestingly, that project is being constructed as a single apartment building, which could be a clue about the ultimate plan for the Randolph Street development. But then again, maybe not. Either way though, trading a large vacant lot for dozens of new units looks like a win for the neighborhood.