It seems we're constantly noting how Northern Liberties and Fishtown development are leaking into South Kensington, and today is no exception. Looking at the 1200 block of N. Mascher Street, we see three different types of projects, with one more coming soon.
We'll start by checking in on a new home at the southeast corner of Thompson & Mascher which was finished and sold in May. We actually told you about this project last fall, shortly after groundbreaking. At the time, this project was quite controversial because it came at the expense of the Cohocksink Community Garden. From the looks of it, the garden didn't happen this season, surely because of the construction. It's worth noting that another parcel that was also previously part of the garden will soon be redeveloped into a single-family home, which tells us that the future of the garden remains up in the air. It's crappy when development has this kind of collateral damage, and we hope that the garden makes a comeback on the pair of parcels that remain.
At 1253-55 N. Mascher St., there's thankfully no collateral damage to bring up. You can see, a new building is currently being framed out here, at a location that was previously a vacant lot and an old home. Developers bought the pair and are now building four condo units across the two lots. This makes sense because each lot is only 12' wide, which is possible for a new home but really tight. Stretching the property across both lots will create four worthwhile living spaces instead of two tight ones. Let's hear it for density and creatively using undersized lots.
The developers at 1224-32 N. Mascher St. have also been creative, fitting five homes with parking on this parcel, which was previously a parking lot. We've seen a couple of other examples of this type of project, where the homes are oriented toward a drive-aisle rather than facing the street. The developers could have built five homes fronting Mascher, but the homes would have either had no parking or produced five curb cuts. If parking was desired, this is a smarter way.
This block sits just north of Girard Avenue and just west of Front Street, so it's a stone's throw from two other neighborhoods that have had more than their share of development. In the coming years, and even in the coming months, look for South Kensington to continue to see rapid redevelopment, and look for that action to continue to spread to the north and west.