The property at 1328 N. 5th St. must have been very attractive in its heyday, but we couldn’t tell you for sure because it’s been sitting vacant and blighted for at least a decade.

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 At 8.20.05 AM
In the past

The good news is that the surrounding area, like so much of South Kensington, has been on the dramatic upswing of late, with the reawakening umbrella factory being a keystone project. As the umbrella factory is just a few steps away form 1328 N. 5th St., it doesn’t come as a surprise that the building is getting brought back to active use. The exact way in which it’s happening though, is a little out of the ordinary.

Developers associated with Solo Realty bought the building back in 2013, as part of an estate sale. A couple years later, they purchased the vacant lot next door, which has been owned by a City agency. Combined, the properties measure 40’x100′ and go street to street, which affords the owners a variety of redevelopment options. We’d have bet on demolition, but that’s not what’s happening. Instead, they’ve opted to renovate the old building at 1328 N. 5th St. and build a new building next door, combining them into a single residential building with 7 condo units. The design work, from Bright Common, is really quite striking.

Current view

Here’s a rendering, which will give you a sense of what the building will look like once it’s finished:

Rendering on 5th Street

But wait, there’s more. As we said, these properties go all the way back to Randolph Street. As a second phase for this project, which they’ve dubbed Kensington Yards, the developers will build a second building with frontage on Randolph Street with another seven condo units. In between the buildings will be an 1,100 sqft communal yard space which will surely be an attractive amenity and encourage people living at Kensington Yards to make new friends in their building.

Nothing yet on Randolph Street
Randolph rendering
Courtyard between the buildings

Already, two of the units are listed for sale. An 867 unit with 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom is on the market for $265K, while an 1104 sqft unit with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms is listed for $300K. The layouts of these units, with their extra width and their unique design elements, should result in a little more buyer interest than other more run of the mill condos in the neighborhood. Of course, that’s not to be confused with the Oxford Mills apartments, those are a few blocks away.