We were making our way through South Kensington the other day and noticed some new foundations that have been in store for a few years. In fact, it was over three years ago that we first told you that 428 W. Master St. would be redeveloped, replacing a community garden called La Finquita which had occupied the site for about three decades. We discussed the controversial transition for the site, noting that the operators of the garden tried to prevent the developers from taking over the property, ultimately resulting in a court fight. In the end, the developers and the garden operators reached a settlement agreement, leading to the redevelopment of the former garden. When we wrote our story though, we didn’t know what would ultimately happen to the property. Now we do.

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The foundations

As we mentioned, there are currently foundations at the property – seven to be exact. You can see, these foundations are on Master Street and you may or may not be able to see that the foundations have space for interior car parking. These will surely be for-sale homes, not unlike the sextet of homes that were built immediately to the west, finishing in 2018. Those homes sold at prices ranging from just above $500K to nearly $600K. We suspect the developers next door will be aiming at higher price points, given the direction the market has moved in just the last few years.

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Newer homes next door

Though the property at 428 W. Master St. currently has seven foundations, that’s not all that’s planned here. On the southern side of the property, the developers are planning a pair of triplexes, or perhaps you can think of it as a single six-unit building. This part of the project will share a drive aisle with the homes to the north, and will include an additional 3 parking spots. So for those that don’t feel like doing the math, we will see a total of 13 units and 10 parking spots here when it’s all said and done. We might have preferred to see the community garden stick around, all things considered, but as we’ve said over and over again, times have changed dramatically in South Kensington, and private landowners are generally aware that they have valuable assets if they own property around here. So we can’t say we blame the property owners for selling the lot.

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Umbrella Building across the street

While 13 units represents decent density, we do think that this property could accommodate more units. You may recall, the townhome project next door was originally slated to be a 31-unit apartment building, but couldn’t find community support and instead pivoted to homes with parking. Clearly, there’s demand for apartment rentals in South Kensington, with the Umbrella Building across the street as the most proximate example. Then again, we’ve seen so many apartment buildings appear here in the last several years, it’s probably healthy to have some owner-occupied single family homes sprinkled into the mix.