If you’ve been following the trajectory of South Kensington over the last several years, the replacement of an old industrial building with a mixed-use project is perhaps a bit old hat. Nevertheless, it’s our job to tell you about new projects as they come along, and here we are with another example of the continuing trend in this neighborhood. So please stop your yawning and take a look if you don’t mind at 1805 N. Howard St., which was home for Rossi Brothers Cabinet Makers for a number of years. The business moved to Wissinoming in 2018, though, when they sold the property to developers.
As we’ve said time and again, a cabinet making business was exactly what the doctor ordered for this property for a long time, but that’s just not the case these days. As you can imagine, the old industrial building has been demoed and now a new mixed-use building is rising in its place. The new building, which has been dubbed “The Howard,” will eventually rise six stories and will contain 45 apartments, artist studio space on the first floor and in the basement, and also 15 parking spots. The artist studio is a dead giveaway that this is a by-right project, with the studio space and the parking both being requirements in the residential-mixed-use IRMX district. Stanev Potts did the design work here, and the rendering below shows industrial influence, but a fun contemporary touch with the angled corner.
It’s nice that the developers are keeping with the industrial history of the property, and this effort should blend in nicely with the other buildings on this side of the street, which were originally built for industry. As we told you before, the former Clifton Mills, located just north of here, isn’t going anywhere, as it was designated historic. That being said, the small section of property immediately to the north was approved for demolition, with a 27-unit building in the works as a replacement.
When we told you about these plans last month, we were trying to decide whether we wanted the new building to be faux-industrial, to blend in with its surroundings, or ultra-contemporary, to differentiate it from the others. Seeing the plans at 1805 N. Howard St., we’re leaning toward something that’s more industrial, to maintain the vibe on the block. For those that want contemporary in this part of town, you don’t need to go far, just walk around the block to Front Street and you’ll see more examples than we can count offhand.