To the east of Front Street, Fishtown continues to flourish. Ditto South Kensington to the west. As a result, developers continue to look to Front Street even though the El continues to rumble across the elevated tracks every day and night. A couple years ago, we told you about plans for development at 1210-14 N. Front St. which came into focus after some back and forth with the community.
Initially, the developers presented plans for three homes on Hope Street and three duplexes on Front Street to South Kensington Community Partners. But the community didn't like the idea of only residential buildings on Front, so the developers altered their proposal to include commercial space on the first floors of the buildings on Front Street, each with two apartments above. If you visit this address today, you'll see that a surface parking lot has indeed been replaced by two buildings on Front Street and three homes on Hope Street.
We're a bit confused about this project on a few levels. First, the developers initially proposed three buildings on Front Street but they've only built two so far. Perhaps they're waiting to see how the first two buildings perform before moving forward with the last building, or maybe they'll look to sell the last parcel to another builder. The storefronts are also a bit confusing. For a wonderfully designed retail space, this location would be a real challenge for any commercial tenant. But it appears as though the builders have opted for no storefront windows, eliminating any chance of street presence. This could work for an office tenant, or more likely the spaces will be converted into apartments at some point in the future.
Whether these spaces are occupied by residents or businesses, it doesn't really matter to us, we're just pleased to see construction on Front Street. We should mention, it appears as if the homes on Hope Street sold last year at prices at or close to $400K. As we keep observing, people don't seem to mind living close to the El nearly as much as we would.