Just a few days ago, we told you about six homes planned for 1500 N. Randolph St., and at the same time pointed to two other projects nearby. This clearly inspired a couple of readers in the neighborhood, as they quickly brought our attention to some additional construction a block away, at the northeast corner of 7th & Jefferson. Three lots sat vacant for many years at this corner, but now we see that developers have framed out three new buildings.
Looking at the permits, the northern properties are duplexes and the developers are going to zoning to get approval for a duplex at the corner. It's a little unorthodox to be going to the ZBA for a use change in the middle of construction- perhaps the original plans had the corner property as mixed-use since it's zoned CMX-2, and the developers quickly realized that new construction retail is totally out of the question here. Or maybe this was always the plan, who knows. Looking at the shuttered bodega across the street, you can see why we're not so optimistic about retail here.
Despite the terrible prospects for business at this location, another developer is now building a new four-story building with three apartments and ground-floor retail just south of Jefferson Street. Prestige Design on 7th LLC owns the property at 1442 N. 7th St. and the vacant lots next door, but even with future development on those lots we don't see how a business could make it work at this location. Again, maybe they'll pivot to all residential at some point during construction.
While the other projects we've covered to the west of South Kensington have been of the single-family home variety, you'll note that the projects we've covered today are all apartments. This tells us that the developers building these units won't be looking to sell, but will instead have an eye on the Temple student housing market, even though Temple is a bit of a shlep from this location. As we see additional construction in this part of the neighborhood, we'll keep an eye on what type of construction happens where- maybe 7th Street will prove to be a fuzzy dividing line of sorts between homes for sale and apartments for rent.