Due to some road closures, we found ourselves traveling on Montgomery Avenue in South Kensington the other day. And this worked out well for us, as this unexpected diversion put us directly in the path of a couple of projects in the pipeline for the area. The first notice we spied was posted to 1800 N. Hancock St., a triangular lot that looks like it would be a fine spot for a water ice place or a cheesesteak joint. The current owner, who bought the property at the beginning of this year for $200K, doesn’t have the same opinion. Instead, they are seeking a variance to add a story onto the existing building and convert it into a unique home. This location is perhaps more friendly to industrial uses than residential, you only need to look a little to the south or a little to the north to see several homes that have been built over the last year or two. So sure, why not a home at this address?
A more significant, if more standard project, is cooking just a few steps away. Developers bought 1801-05 N. 2nd St. for $490K about half a year ago, and they are looking to tear down the existing industrial building and construct a new 24-unit apartment building in its place. Considering that this property is so close to the other building we were just looking at, the same rings true as far as residential development making sense. And with plans for some additional residential development possibly moving forward on the west side of the 1700 block of N. 2nd St., this project seems even more sensible.
As both projects require a zoning variance, they made their way through the community process over the last several months. The triangular parcel got continued at the ZBA, so it’s not a done deal as of yet. Still, with such a simple ask, we don’t see why it wouldn’t eventually move forward. The apartment building on 2nd Street got approval from the ZBA, though we aren’t entirely clear on one aspect of the building. The SKCP website indicates a live-work component for this project, but we don’t see any indication of that use in the zoning application. Maybe someone that regularly attends these community meetings can answer that question? Also, if anyone out there has seen a rendering of the planned home at 1800 N. Hancock St., we’d be very interested to hear whether the owner is planning a cool looking building or something more utilitarian.