A reader tipped us off to some construction activity at 1508-16 Brandywine St., former home to the School of Rock. With the school moving to the Electric Factory back in 2010, property owners The Regis Group crafted a plan to convert the large warehouse-like building into apartments. Though zoning approvals came through almost a year ago, construction efforts have only begun somewhat recently.
According to the zoning application, the third story has been partially demolished, and an additional story will be added to the building. The first floor will be used for car and bicycle parking as well as a lobby and residential entrance. The second floor will have eight apartment units, and there will be an additional four units between the third and fourth floors. We don’t know at this time whether the apartments will be rentals or condos, as Regis has done both in the past.
This project reminds us a little of the 30 unit apartment project currently in the works on Fairmount Ave., just a couple of blocks to the north. In contrast to that project, Regis is maintaining the existing building and reusing it for residential purposes, rather than tearing it down and starting from scratch. Is it because Regis values the integrity of the existing architecture on the block? Do they want to maintain the warehouse motif that continues on Brandywine St. for several blocks? Or are they simply trying to play by the rules for a building that’s designated historic?
Either way, it promises to be a cool adaptive reuse in a neighborhood that’s got plenty of large new projects currently going on or in the works for the near future.