A reader tipped us off about some zoning notices at 1602-04 N. 3rd St. in South Kensington, and we decided to investigate. On our way to this property though, it came to our attention that 3rd Street disappears for several blocks in this neighborhood, ending at Thompson Street and resuming at Oxford Street. Seems like something that we should have known but has somehow escaped our attention until now. But we digress.

Current view

Considering the consistent development we've seen in South Kensington of late, we'd say that these garages are not the highest and best use for this property. Developers bought the garages about half a year ago, paying $110K for the privilege. Before you go off thinking they got a steal, you should know that even though the property has 38' of frontage and a pre-existing curb cut, it only goes back to a maximum of 35'. So that kind of limits what you can do here. The developers have proposed a triplex with a single parking spot, and we'll have to wait and see what the ZBA says about the variance, as the property is only zoned for single-family use.

Some new construction across the street

Lest you think that this property is alone on this block in terms of development, we'd like to reassure you that there's been other construction nearby. A couple years back, the vacant lot at 1625 N 3rd St. turned into a home that sold for $315K. Two doors away, we see that another vacant lot is 1629 N. 3rd St. is currently under construction, and this home will surely sell at a higher number than its neighbor.

Home for sale across the street

If this block is exciting to you, it turns out that 1620 N. 3rd St. is currently listed for sale. While it may look like a South Philly grandma house on the outside, the listing shows an interior that's far nicer than the exterior suggests. And at a price of $250K, it's pretty good value in this market. Of course, the folks who bought the new construction across the street for just $65K more in 2014 got the best value on the block, but we suspect that prices will continue to climb in South Kensington as additional development continues to fill in the neighborhood. So maybe in a couple of years, $250K for a rehab on this block will look just as good.