Checking In On the Potts Ice Cream Factory Project

June is here and we have ice cream on the brain. Thankfully, Philadelphia is chock full of options, from old school Bassettsto new school Little Baby’s and many others in between. Potts ice cream no longer exists as an independent company, having been absorbed by Bassetts, but its former factory at 2001 North St. remains as a tribute to sundaes gone by. Until this Art Moderne beauty was bought by MJL Properties a couple years ago, it had been sitting empty for quite some time.

Former factory at the corner

Back in the summer of 2015, we told the property would be redeveloped, and in reading the zoning application we indicated plans to renovate the corner building into four units and construct an additional four homes next door. If you visit the property today though, you’ll see that’s not exactly what happened.

Seven new homes, viewed from the east
New homes viewed from the west

Yeah, that’s seven new homes, not four new homes. Three of the homes are on the larger side, with about 3,600 sqft of living space and a list price of $1.15M. The smaller homes are a mere 3,000 sqft and are listed for $1.05M. All homes have 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and two car garages. None of the homes have basements, so all of that square footage is above grade.

As for the former factory itself, we were previously correct that it would be converted to residential. But it isn’t getting chopped up into four units. It’s going to be one massive home. The project will reuse the existing two floors of the building and add a partial third floor as well. From what we can tell, the floorplates for the first two floors will each be about 3,500 sqft, while the addition will cover anoter 1,600 sqft. The third floor alone is larger than many two story homes, by the way. We found the plan for the first floor and see that it will include three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a pool table, and a parking space. We have no idea what’s happening in the rest of the house, maybe a small ice cream factory?

First floor plan, from Morrissey Design

We have a feeling that this home, which is still in the very early stages of construction, will not be placed on the market but will be taken by the developer. If it were to be listed, how much would someone be willing to pay for it? $3M? $4M? The mind reels. Then again, who wouldn’t want to live in a former ice cream factory that’s just around the corner from the historic Eastern State Penitentiary and one of the most delightful cafes in town? How can you put a price on this unique combination of home and location? Well, at some point, whether in the near or the distant future, you can be assured that someone is going to try.