Just yesterday, we told you about a 200 plus unit building in the works on the 1700 block of N. Front Street. It turns out that at the same community meeting, different developers presented plans for a new project nearby on the 1700 block of N. 2nd Street. This project will take place at 1730-54 N. 2nd St., on a parcel that’s currently a one-story warehouse and a surface parking lot. Though the project won’t approach its neighbor to the east in terms of size, it will still certainly qualify as a sizable addition to the South Kensington landscape.
The parcel in question covers about 33K sqft and has a light industrial present and a heavier industrial history. Back in the day, the southern portion of the property was home to a mill, later transitioning to a section of a factory (or warehouse) owned by Heidelberger Candy Company. A part of the northern section of the property was used by National Biscuit Company, making for a delicious section of the neighborhood. We wonder whether the good smells coming from these businesses overpowered the awful smells coming from the active factories nearby. Maybe at least in close proximity?
But those days are now past us and the building has been used for years by a messenger business. Still, the industrial zoning has remained in place here, necessitating the developers to seek a variance to build the project they presented yesterday to the community. This project, assuming it gets approved by the ZBA, will entail a six-story building with a total of 115 units. Seven of those units will be contained in “townhomes” on Philip Street on the western side of the project, but as far as we can tell those homes will look more like two-story units in the greater building, as they will have more typical rental units located right above them. But maybe they’ll be sold rather than rented, hence the delineation. Also included will be about 9,000 sqft of retail space and 27 parking spots. The design is something else, and assuming it gets built as proposed, the building would be one of the more unique edifices in town.
Again, if we are to assume that this project moved forward as proposed, it will join a host of other projects that are proposed and ongoing in the area. The project packet helpfully shows a number of other projects nearby, ostensibly to show that the massing of the proposal is very much in line with others in the area. This image also provides some context, showing just how many large buildings are in the mix for this small section of Philadelphia.
Staying very close to this site, we see two projects we’ve previously covered which are progressing. Just to the south, at 1712 N. 2nd St., a row of duplexes have been built on Philip Street and a mixed-use building is on deck for 2nd Street. This project initially called for duplexes on 2nd Street and apartments on Philip Street, but we think they made the right call by flipping the density to the busier street. Meanwhile, to the south, at the corner of 2nd & Cecil B Moore, another six-story building will add just under a hundred more units to the area on an oddly shaped lot, and we see that building is shaping up nicely. Given the presence of these projects, we have to think that the proposal at 1740 N. 2nd St. will similarly get the thumbs up, continuing post-industrial to mixed-use transition in this neighborhood.