Warehouse Going Topless on North American Street

We were in South Kensington the other day and noticed some significant bracing on the side of a large warehouse on Philip Street. This seemed a little odd to us, to we decided we’d investigate. We quickly realized that the building stretches all the way to N. American Street, hence the 1621-45 N. American St. address, and we also learned that for a number of years the building housed a refrigeration company.

Bracing on Philip St.
View on N. American St.
More of the building

The building is huge, measuring 174′ wide by 120′ deep. As we already mentioned, the property extends street to street, with frontage on N. American and Philip Streets. It’s been on and off the market for a number of years, first getting listed for $1.5M back in 2006. The old listings pushed the building’s value for industrial uses, but more recent listings took an approach more consistent with the current realities in South Kensington, suggesting demolition, subdivision, and construction of town homes. Ultimately, the building sold a couple years ago for $1.3M.

The bracing on Philip St. would seem to suggest the building has gotten some work done, and when we took a closer look from the other side of the building, it became quite evident that this is indeed the case. More specifically, the roof is missing.

You can see sky through the windows

With the building in a state of partial demolition, your first guess might be that the owners are tearing down the old warehouse, with an eye toward the residential uses recommended by the most recent listing. But that ignores that reality that for better or for worse, N. American St. is generally maintaining its industrial character, even as the surrounding neighborhood changes dramatically. In keeping with that expectation, the owners are, in fact, renovating the existing building with a plan to use it as a moving and storage facility. Ho hum. We are not sure why this entailed ripped the roof off the building, but we’re certain they wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t entirely necessary. And for now, until they get around to putting a new roof on the building, you can enjoy skylight views from outside the building.