Last spring, we experienced mixed emotions as the vacant building that was once home to Lou's Crab Pad was demolished. On the one hand, the elimination of this building, located on the northwest corner of Mascher & Girard, meant that something was finally happening at this neglected address. Six apartments and a commercial space, to be exact. On the other hand, the destroyed building was really interesting architecturally, and we were sad to see that it was not getting renovated. Since April, the lot has been vacant.
Over the summer, according to Star News, developer Tony Elebah presented plans to the community for not only the northwest corner of Mascher & Girard, but the northeast corner as well. The former Crab Pad corner has only been empty for a few months. The opposite corner has been vacant for many years.
At two separate South Kensington Community Partners meetings, the developer presented plans for a four-story building with fifteen apartments and two commercial spaces on the northeast corner, and a nine-unit building with a ground floor commercial space on the northwest corner (up from six units). The architecture was done by the Ian Smith Design Group, and they improved dramatically on their initial effort. Check out the rendering:
The community voted to support both projects, and just last week the ZBA gave their approval. So look for both of these lots to get redeveloped in 2015. This project will join a parade of other Girard Avenue development, and we'll be sure to keep an eye out for what kind of commercial tenants they're able to snag. And with Liberty Square finally underway nearby, it seems that businesses new and old on the corridor will soon get an infusion of new customers.