The 1200 block of N. 7th St. is very much on the upswing. We’ve covered a couple different projects on the west side of this block, with a quartet of homes and a mixed use building appearing at the corner, along with a row of six triplexes just south of the corner. Both of these projects replaced long vacant lots and gave us an indication that South Kensington development was pushing westward.
A little over a year ago, we checked in on the progress of the row of triplexes pictured above and noted another project in the hopper for this block. We showed you 1225-29 N. 7th St., noting that the building at 1227 N. 7th St. had been sitting blighted for many years while the vacant lots on either side were sitting empty for just as long if not longer. We told you that developers had purchased the three properties and were planning four triplexes. And we were optimistic that the project would move forward, since something similar was happening across the street. Alas, checking in on the properties a few days ago, we discovered that nothing has changed whatsoever.
We were correct to be optimistic about the odds of the proposal getting approval, as the ZBA did indeed grant the requested variance back in January of 2016. With approved plans in hand, the developers sold the properties in the fall for $575K after buying them for only $300K a little over a year earlier. The new developers are now looking to reach for the stars, and want to up the ante from four triplexes to a single building with 15 apartments. In a way, it makes sense that the developers would seek to move forward with this project in one building, as it eliminates some staircases, adds room for bike and trash storage, and allows for other architectural efficiencies. On the other hand, we can imagine a world in which the neighbors don’t like the extra density, especially after the ZBA approved 12 units just last year.
The project went to the ZBA this week but was continued, so we’ll keep an eye on what happens when it goes back. At the very least, it’s probably safe to assume that we’ll see those triplexes get built, but a single apartment building with 15 unit still looks like it’s very much in play. Whatever eventually gets built, whether it’s four triplexes or a single apartment building, it’s very safe to say that it’ll be an upgrade over what’s been here for a really long time.