We’re pretty certain that the buildings at 1209-11 N. Hancock St. were originally built for residential purposes. The architectural details, like the locations of the windows and the intact cornices, strongly suggest an initial residential use. Somewhere along the line though, the buildings were combined into a single industrial use, most recently serving as a meat processing and distribution center. At least that’s what an old listing and the sign advertising Joe Breslow Deli Products would seem to indicate. Well, we should probably use the past tense here, because the old buildings are gone as of a few months ago.
You can just make out a zoning notice in the photo above, which is the reason we’re bringing the property to your attention. Developers purchased the property last fall, paying $435K, and are pursuing a variance to build a six-unit building on the 3,000 sqft parcel. The variance is needed because the parcel is zoned for single-family use, so a pair of town homes would be allowed by right. We don’t know how the neighbors will respond to the project, but from where we sit, some density would seem to make sense here given the proximity to Girard Avenue. That being said, we don’t see much of a hardship and if the neighborhood pushes back against the project, we’re not sure that the ZBA will give its approval. Then again, another multi-family project up the block got ZBA approval a little over a year ago.
The property you’re struggling to see through the trees is 1217 N. Hancock St., an edifice constructed as the Hancock Street Methodist Episcopal Church back in the 1800s. We told you awhile back that developers had bought the building for a little over $500K and were looking to renovate it into a twelve unit apartment building. Approval from the ZBA wasn’t a given at the time, but you can see from the ongoing construction that they project did indeed get approved. We wonder whether that approval came as a reward for maintaining the existing building or whether the ZBA would have also granted the variance in the case of new construction. We should get a pretty definitive answer to this question soon, based on the ZBA response to the proposal just a few doors away.