Freshness Coming to Front Street, Near Norris Square Park

The momentum we’ve seen over the last few years on N. Front St. has shown no sign of slowing down. Development keeps creeping further north as more and more people flock to the convenience of a major transit corridor, with the El literally over your head. Oh, and being sandwiched between the South Kensington and Fishtown neighborhoods certainly doesn’t hurt either. So all aboard, as we have yet another mixed-use project coming down the pike, er, street, er, track, on the 2200 block of N. Front Street.

In the past
View of the site from the south
Looking vacant now, but not for long

2213-33 N. Front St. is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of projects along this corridor. Developers have purchased a series of properties on this block and have demolished a number of old buildings, with an eye toward consolidation. Cadre Design is leading the charge as the first portion of this two-phase project gets underway, with plans calling for a seven story building with ground floor commercial to rise on an awkwardly shaped lot. 60 units are slated for the initial phase and the development team is utilizing both the fresh food market and moderate income zoning bonuses, pushing the allowable height from 55’ to 77’ while also increasing the density. These bonuses will allow the project to proceed entirely by right, but the size of the development will warrant a Civic Design Review presentation. By the way, the second phase won’t need CDR, as it will add 17 more units across two five-story wings that will flank the proposed structure.

Future view from Front Street
Bird’s eye perspective of Phase 1, with Norris Square Park just out of frame
Sizable commercial space for fresh food market
Materials showing some texture and depth
View from the El

This design is a big win in our book. Transit-oriented development with zero car parking, 20 bike spots and a new market to serve the neighborhood seem very appropriate for a project at a location like this. We also appreciate the material palette and design, with asymmetrical metal frames breaking up the tan brick massing. The balconies facing the tracks may be a bit loud for our taste, but outdoor space of any kind is a huge bonus – and it never hurts to have more eyes on the street. It’s unclear whether the moderate income bonus will result in lower priced units or merely a financial contribution to the Housing Trust Fund, but either one would be a positive outcome.

Another empty lot, another apartment on the way

While we’re here, we might as well direct your attention across the street, where 2226 N. Front St. is likewise sitting vacant. But like 2213 N. Front St., this lot will soon disappear, as a building permit was issued for the property last summer. Look for a five story building with 22 units, ground floor commercial and a green roof here, hopefully sometime later this year. Just think, between these two projects we’ll soon see almost a hundred new units on this block alone plus two new retail spaces, collectively adding to the vibrancy of the ever growing Front Street corridor.