We’ve never noticed the plumbing supply business at 2616 S. 18th St., just a few steps from Oregon Avenue. We confess, we don’t spend so much time in Girard Estates, but even if we did, the nondescript stucco building at this address simply blends in, as if begging to be ignored. And while it sits just to the south of a residential neighborhood, it’s steps to the north of a big box commercial corridor, so it’s not like this business sticks out in any material way. And yet, it sits on about three quarters of an acre which we’d argue is currently underused.

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Current view

Since we’re writing about it, you’ve probably figured out that this won’t remain the case for much longer. Developers are stepping in to buy this property and are proposing something rather different than a plumbing supply business. Instead, the proposal calls for a 22 unit town home development. The homes will be arranged in two rows perpendicular to 18th Street, with a drive aisle between them. Check out these renderings which we grabbed from the project’s CDR packetDesign Blendz did the architecture work, making their second Naked Philly appearance this week.

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View from 18th Street
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View from 18th Street, from the north
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Inside the development
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Looking east through the project
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Aerial rendering

Interestingly, the homes will front the drive aisle and each will have two parking spots out front. Usually with projects centered on a drive aisle, garage entrances are oriented to the backs of the homes, with the front facades having frontage on a street. Since the parking here is open air, it makes more sense that the fronts of the homes would look toward the drive aisle than the other way around. Plus, only two of the homes will have any street frontage because the parcel sits in the middle of the block.

We don’t spend much time in this neighborhood because it doesn’t see a whole lot of development activity. It’s certainly possible though, that as other neighborhoods in South Philly continue to fill in, that we’ll see more projects crop up in Girard Estates. And with numerous large parcels on Oregon Avenue, it seems like an area that could get some more sizable projects in the future. Certainly, this shouldn’t have as much of an impact as the expansion and rebranding of South Quarter Crossing just a few blocks to the west, which will add hundreds of apartments to the area, but as part of a larger story, it could absolutely play a role.