The other day, we heard from a reader, bringing a renovation effort at 673 N. 15th St. to our attention. This project apparently stalled out for a time, but construction has now resumed. Plans call for three apartments above an office space, and at least some of the first floor windows are being expanded to make for a stronger street presence. We're holding out hope that the windows on the south side of the building will also grow before construction finishes.
We actually brought this property to your attention about a year and a half ago, shortly after developer Loonstyn Properties bought the building. As part of that purchase, they also bought the warehouse next door on the 1400 block of Melon Street. At the time, we were hoping that the developers would maintain the existing property and perhaps renovate it into a residential reuse. The bones, after all, are pretty great.
Alas, this building will soon meet the wrecking ball. About a year ago, they received a variance from the ZBA to demolish the buildings at 1427-35 Melon St. and construct a five-story, 24-unit building with seven parking spots. For most of this year, they've been moving through the permitting process, getting their demo permit earlier this week. So look for this building to come down sometime early in 2016.
These developers have been quite active in this neighborhood over the last few years, having notably built the mixed-use Uber & Fairmount project a few years ago. They recently built a new apartment building on 20th Street, north of Fairmount Avenue. And they've been in on other projects, large and small. There were rumors that they were trying to flip the Melon Street property to another developer, but we don't see any public record evidence that this happened. Whether it's Loonstyn Properties or someone else though, the old building on Melon Street will soon be coming down and another apartment building will join the fray near Fairmount Avenue.