The 1400 block of Germantown Ave. has changed dramatically over the last several years, a microcosm of the evolution of South Kensington as a whole. Most of the projects we’ve seen on this block have been on the small side though, with some single family homes, and some duplexes and triplexes mixed in for good measure. But the two projects currently under construction on the block are horses of a different color.
We told you back at the end of 2015 to expect a renovation of 1401 Germantown Ave., an old industrial building once used to produce store fixtures. The project comes from G-8 Life, a developer that’s generally built small projects with unusual designs. The design for this one is far from funky, as it’s bringing an old building back to life and even incorporating the old signage at the corner. The project calls for retail on the first floor and fifty apartments, some of which were listed earlier this year at prices ranging from $1200-$2200/mo. It’s hard to tell from the outside whether the interior work is finished, but if it’s not, you can figure it’ll wrap up pretty soon. As for the retail space, we haven’t heard any news on that front- maybe someone in the neighborhood knows something?
Up the street, another apartment building is under construction as part of a ground-up development. Two summers back, we told you that developers had purchased the warehouse building at 1413 Germantown Ave., and had a plan convert it to residential use while building a bunch of town homes on the adjacent property. That plan ultimately fell by the wayside, replaced by the project we now see moving forward. The first phase, currently under construction, calls for a 6-story building with 50 apartments, 5,000 sqft of industrial space on the first floor, and 15 parking spots. A second phase will see the warehouse next door get torn down and replaced with a second apartment building with 70 units, 22 parking spots, and more industrial space. As for what’ll happen with that industrial space, we couldn’t tell you. Artist workspaces, perhaps, for people not interested in the Crane building a block away?
Despite all the development this block has seen, it still retains a handful of vacant lots. Figure it won’t be long before we’re telling you about new projects for those properties, as part of a bigger story about the block being completely filled in. And of course, all these new residents will be flocking to nearby businesses, especially a few blocks away on Frankford Avenue. Closer to home, the folks at ReAnimator Coffee just around the corner surely aren’t sad about all the new business they’ve seen thus far, or the additional bundle of customers on the horizon.