Over the last few years, we've watched as developers tore down an old warehouse and some old blighted buildings and replaced them with a project called the Townhomes at Liberties North. This project consists of 21 new homes, with about half fronting N. Hope Street and visible from under the El, and the others facing a large vacant lot on N. Howard Street. When we last checked in on this project over the summer, the Howard side looked finished and the Hope side was progressing nicely. Most of the homes on Howard were already sold, and many of the Hope Street homes were under agreement at list prices exceeding $400K.
But what of that lot across the street? If it sounds familiar, it's because we've brought it to your attention repeatedly over the years. We first mentioned this parcel, 1320-40 N. Howard St., at the end of 2011 as part of a story about a massive Kensington residential project from Tower Investments. Had that project come to fruition, it might have meant about seventy new homes for this block. In the spring of 2013, witnessing little progress on the project, we thought that something might finally be imminent but we were wrong. In September of this year, when groundbreaking occurred for three homes at the corner of Howard & Master, we experienced a flicker of hope. And now, with zoning notices posted on the property it looks like we'll see redevelopment here after all these years.
According to the zoning application, the developers are looking to build fourteen homes and a parking lot. According to public record, the property hasn't changed hands but it was listed for sale earlier this year, along with the three lots on the corner, for $1.76M. We'd perhaps prefer a smaller developer for this parcel but even if it's Tower we won't be sad about it. This parcel has been crying out for redevelopment since before Naked Philly was a thing. And now it looks like it may happen at last. We'll have to see what the ZBA has to say on the issue.