We were heading through Francisville on 18th Street and spotted what looked like some new construction a couple blocks north of Girard. When we came in to get a closer look, it turned out to be an addition to an existing building rather than a completely new structure.

From the south

As you can see, the rear of 1800 Master St. looked terrible just a couple of years ago.

In the past

Turns out the front didn’t look much better. In fact, the front pretty much looks just as bad now as it did back then.

A few years back.

This week

Xm Investments purchased this property back in 2010, and owns several other properties in the immediate vicinity. After leaving many of their properties in lousy condition for a few years, this developer has been making efforts to improve several others in the area as well. 1800 Master St. will, when finished, contain a commercial space on the first floor and three residential units. Other area buildings owned by this developer will likewise be multi-unit properties.

We’re guessing that these rehabs will be marketed to students, even though they’re rather distant from Temple’s campus. Or perhaps they will appeal to people who have been priced out of Francisville, but want to live close to an area that’s quickly coming into its own. We’ll check back on this block in a few months, to see just how many Xm properties have been completed. If several are finished, we’ll know this developer is indeed a “serious” player in the area.