Ski Slope Building on Front Getting a New Neighbor

Front Street’s upswing is continuing, as a reader recently tipped us off about plans to redevelop yet another vacant lot on this long dormant corridor. There’s a zoning notice posted at 1308-10 N. Front St., a 4,000 sqft parcel that goes all the way back to Hope Street and has been sitting vacant for at least a decade. By right, the owners of this property could build a 7-unit building that goes up to a height of 38′. Instead, they’re proposing a 54′ building with 14 units, some retail on the first floor, and parking for 5 cars. The project went to South Kensington Community Partners this week, maybe someone who attended the meeting can fill us in on how it was received?

Zoning notice

You’ll notice, one of our favorite new buildings in town is located immediately next door. This unique building reminds us of a ski slope and contains 6 apartments over a retail space. But it’s on a smaller parcel, so greater density next door would seem to make sense. We can only hope that the proposed project can hold a candle to its neighbor from an architectural standpoint. If history is any lesson though, we shouldn’t be too optimistic.

Love this building

Case in point is the building next door. In a vacuum, the renovation of 1314 N. Front St. into a 4 unit building with retail on the first floor looks fine- not the greatest building and not the worst. But because it sits next to such a unique building, we’re kind of forced to hold a microscope up to it, making its shortcomings more prominent. Again, the ski slope building raises the bar for the proposed building next door.

Something less inspiring next door

Now, if only we were optimistic that businesses were going to open in all of these new retail spaces, we’d truly have sky high hopes for the future of North Front Street. It pains us a little to say it, but we’d expect most of these retail spaces will be converted to apartments in the coming years. This is not the end of the world, of course, Franford Avenue is just a few short steps away.