We were making our way through South Kensington recently, and some active construction on the 2100 block of N. 2nd Street drew our attention. Historically, the properties at 2130-36 N. 2nd St. were used for housing. In recent decades though, property values sank in the neighborhood and old buildings were demolished over time. 2130 N. 2nd St. has been vacant for a number of years. On 2132 and 2134 N. 2nd St., a former property owner built a couple of private garages, though you can be forgiven for thinking that the site was once an auto shop. 2136 N. 2nd St. was the only property that maintained its historic use, with a two-story home on the property until rather recently.

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In the past

Last fall, developers went to the ZBA with a plan to demolish all the buildings on the site, change some lot lines around, and build a quartet of triplexes. The project required a variance due to the fact that the property is zoned for commercial mixed-use (CMX-2), despite the fact that the properties have been used for residential purposes forever. We get it that there’s plenty of commercial activity on this stretch of 2nd Street, but given the rapid redevelopment of this area, it’s likely we’ll see more residential development here and not so much by way of commercial use. Most of the surrounding blocks of N. 2nd Street are similarly zoned, which makes us think that maybe some remapping would make sense in the near future, to keep with how things are trending.

But we digress. The ZBA approved the project and the old home and the garages were all demoed within the last several months. Construction is now moving forward on the triplexes, with footers in place and plumbers working at the site when we visited. We’ll be interested to see whether these units are listed as condos or rentals, as either would probably make sense here. Fortunately, the project won’t cover up the awesome mural by artist Samuel Lind on the northern side of 2124 N. 2nd St., though its visibility is definitely going to take a hit once these buildings start framing in the coming weeks. If you’d like to get a good look at the mural with the best possible sight lines, we suggest paying a visit to the property sooner than later.

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Current view
Mural to the south

If you look due south from this site, you’ll see the Gotham, an apartment building we last covered back in March, a little more than a block away.

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Looking south, toward the Gotham

At that time, we reminded you that this project will eventually mean the addition of about 150 new units to the corner of 2nd & Norris, which seemed inconceivable when we first covered the property less than half a decade ago. In other words, things are moving rather quickly in this part of town, with development continuing to push farther north as available lots dwindle and get pricier to the south. We’ve got some other projects to share even further north in the coming days, which will only serve to reinforce this idea.