Cantrell Place Starts Shaping Up in South Philly

We don’t typically have much development to cover south of Snyder Avenue, but today we can share some news of a project of some significance for the Whitman neighborhood. Every few months, usually appended to a trip to Target, we’ve visited the 400 and 500 blocks of Cantrell Street, hoping to see some changes to the sea of vacant lots on those blocks. When we made our most recent visit a few days ago, we were pleasantly surprised to see considerable construction activity on the north side of the 400 block and the south side of the 500 block.

Looking east on the 400 block
Early work on the 500 block of Cantrell

It’s pretty obvious at first glance that this isn’t the typical market rate town home construction that we so regularly cover. The large foundations and the elevator tower are a pretty good indication. Indeed, this is an affordable housing project for seniors which has been in the works for several years. The project comes from Presby’s Inspired Life, a senior housing company with multiple developments in the region. They’ve dubbed this development Cantrell Place, and it will eventually include 61 units over two different buildings. Looking at permits, we see that the site on the 400 block will have 36 units, while the building on the 500 block will include 25 units. Here’s a rendering of the project, courtesy of Kramer + Marks Architects.

Project rendering

Some would say it’s up for debate as to whether Philadelphia has an affordable housing problem, but it’s pretty much accepted that Philadelphia doesn’t have enough affordable housing for seniors. And in adding five dozen new units to the housing pool, this project is a huge win for the city. In addition, we understand that some of the units in this building will be set aside for “mobility impaired, sensory impaired, and homeless seniors,” making this project all the more important in terms of providing for individuals who are lacking for housing options. We wonder, where else might be see similar projects come to fruition in neighborhoods relatively close to Center City?